Monday, December 30, 2013

Feliz Ano Nueve

Well guys i must say talking to you all on Christmas was by far the best Christmas  present i could have gotten. i loved the little time i got to see you guys and hear your voices! And i STILL can't believe grant's voice is so low! what the heck?!? and sorry the video quality was so low and you couldn't really see me. i was kinda bummed about that, i got my hairs cut and everything! Haha, but either way it was so awesome to talk to you guys:)  

I must admit, it was a little weird to be away from home for Christmas, but it was still a good Christmas! We went to eat with 2 families that invited us all over, but i was kinda disappointed because i didn't get any Christmas tamales like i was hoping for! We got hamburgers twice instead... haha weird right? But the members treated us super well on christmas so it was a good day:)

Well as is the mission life, the rest of the week was work work work! Which is fine, because it probably helped us from becoming too home sick. Haha, but this week we had a couple really cool experiences with a couple we're teaching. They're an older couple and the husband was recently diagnosed with cancer, i think I've already mentioned them before, but we were able to visit them various times throughout the week with a familiy in my ward. And almost the whole week we were focusing on the restauracion. Because they're christians but don't see the point really in religion. But we had a really really powerful lesson with them and the spirit testified to them the truth of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith, and he told us he believed the entire thing and is excited to read the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, his wife got sick so they weren't able to go to church this week but they already said they would go next week! We also have been teaching Anabel, who is the girlfriend of a SUPER less active member in our ward. But we had never met the member until this week. And it turns out he's just kind of a bum! He sits at home all day and plays PS3 and watches Netflix while Anabel is out working all day. So we've been trying to help Ramiro (the boyfriend) out and motivate him to actually do something with his life. But he is just super lazy and it's kind of frustrating. But we'll keep working with him. Well most of the other investigators that we have had have been out of town but this week they are going to return so we'll be able to see everyone again! so that'll be sweet!

Well yesterday in sacrament meeting our bishop gave a really cool talk about facing the new year. He talked about the story of lot's wife, and how the only commandment she was given when they were told to flee their city was to not look back and to run to the mountain. And he related this to facing the new year. But it really applies to every aspect in our life. Starting the new year i invite you guys to leave all the bad things or mistakes from this last year behind, and to strive to reach a higher place this year. Because we all make mistakes, all the times. But let's learn from these mistakes and use them to make us stronger this time around so we can end up in a higher place next year, because what's important to God isn't the mistakes we've made in the past, but instead what we are doing in this instant to become better, and where we are willing to go to become better. I know for me this past year has had its ups and downs, but i can proudly say i feel like a much better and stronger person now than where i was a year ago, and i know my last year in my mission will make me even better, but it will only come by leaving the mistakes behind and striving to be better!!

I love you guys and i hope you have a great last few days of vacations!! LOVE YOU!!!:))

... and i still can't believe Grant's voice is low.

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird:)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Conference - From December 11

Hey guys!!!!! I feel like it's been forever since i talked to you! Well this week has been CRAZYYY. We changed P-day this week because tomorrow is our Christmas Conference in the mission so we've been doing all the preperations for it and getting everything ready, our zone is going to do a sketch thing in the conference and it's going to be awesome!!! I'm going to try to get someone to record it so i can send it to you guys, but yeah i'm excited for the Conference tomorrow. It should be great!! Well that's super crazy all the snow and ice that has fallen! I'm a little jealous you guys went hookeybobbing without me but i loved all the videos you guys sent me! And it must have been really thick the ice if they cancelled church even! Crazy stuff. It's also way awesome of Grandma to come down for the concert! Gotta love that:)

Well apart from all the preparations for the conference, we've been working really really hard in our area to have more people to teach. But like i've said there are almost no members in our area and we had to start from scratch. But we met Anabel, who is the wife of a less active member, and she went to church this sunday and she liked it! So that was way cool. We also found an older couple who is struggling because the señor was recently diagnosed with cancer, but because of this he has a strong desire to get closer to God. So we have been starting to work with them as well, but they seem very excited and willing to learn and accept the Gospel. We also have been planning activities in the ward for Christmas and we were put in charge of it again, haha. So this Friday we are going to have a ward Christmas activity but we have to prepare everything so it's going to be kind of tough to get all ready with the conference tomorrow, but we can do it:)

Well we were able to have a really cool experience with a family this week. As district leader i get to go on divisions with all the elders in my district, so on monday i went with Elder Knight to his area and we had a family home evening night with a less active family, and we taught about Joseph Smith and the restoracion. She had a couple of kids that were running around and screaming the whole time so it seemed like the hermana was a little distracted the whole time. But finishing the lesson and bearing our testimonies about the book of mormon, i shared Alma 5:26, that talks about having a change of heart, and we asked her if really she has been able to feel a change of heart in her life having the gospel, and she started to cry and tell us all of the challenges she was passing through, and that in this lesson she was able to remember why she got baptized in the first place and remember that God really does love her and watches out for her. And it was just a really really cool lesson! I feel like i don't share a lot of these experiences with you but i'll try to get better at it! Because really it's these type of experiences that makes the mission the greatest thing ever!! 

So im SUPERRR excited to talk to you guys in 2 weeks!!!! I'm not exactly sure at what time or anything the call will be yet, but i will be letting you guys know soon. I love oyu guys! and i hope you all have a great week!:)

Also i thought you guys might think it would be funny to hear that today i ripped my 3rd pair of pants... and it happened in front of the whole zone. haha, so that was kind of embarassing. I gotta learn how to sow!

con mucho amor,
Elder Pajarito 

Feliz Navidad

Hey guys!!!! So guess what... I get to talk to you in 2 days!!!! I'm SOOO excited!!! We had planned to do it at around 4, 4:30ish, but let me know soon if that isn't going to work for you guys and we can move our plans!!! But yeah i'm super super super excited to talk to you guys:) Also happy Birthday Grandpa!!!! Hope you had a great day and ate lots of cake!!

well this week we have found a ton of new people to teach, because we went to a neighborhood that i think the other missionaries didn't even know existed. Haha, there aren't any members or anything there but now almost all of our investigators live there. Which is cool! But we found Armando, who has about 50 years, he is passing through  a really really hard time. His foot was amputated last week and his diabetes has caused him to go almost completely blind. So we have been visiting him to try and give him some hope, but what has impressed us so much about him is his faith, and even though everything seems to be going wrong he continues to thank God for everything He has given him. We've been able to have some really powerful lessons with him, but because of his foot he still hasn't been able to go to church yet. We also have been teaching Jorge and Esperanza, a couple who are about 80 years old. But it was really cool because we had a really awesome lesson about the restauración, and at first Jorge wanted to argue with everything we said but by the end of the lesson they were both kinda quiet. And when we said the last prayer and got up to leave, they told us that they saw a light in us and said they could feel something different when we were teaching them, and we were like, umm.... it's because this is all true! Haha, but we had some really cool lessons with them this week! The only problem is that they are going out of town until the beginning of January so we won't be able to see them for awhile. Also we got a reference from the 1st counselor in the bishopric of a couple who is pssing through a hard time because the husband was just diagnosed with cancer. So we have been teaching them along ith the first counselor and his wife, and it's been really awesome! Their only thing is that they don't believe that religion is necessary, like they have a TON of faith, but they don't feel like their is jut one true religion. But we are orking on that with them!!! 

Also today is going to be awesome because the Stake president invited all of the missionaries in the stake to a Christmas dinner! So we are going to eat Carne Asada i think he told us and do a bunch of christmas sketches and songs and stuff, so it should be really awesome!!!

Well, there's sooo much more to tell you guys but i ill be able to tell you all about it in 2 days, so i'll save the rest of the good stuff for then.:) And although this time of year has made me miss you guys a ton, and i'm not really looking forward to a christmas away from home, i just want you guys to know how much i love you!!! And even though i miss you guys a ton, i wouldn't trade this time as a missionary for anything. It's the most amazing thing i've ever done and i want you guys to kno that i am happy here:)  And I can't wait to talk to you guys!!! And i hope you guys have a GREATTTT christmas! Remember that it' for our savior Jesus Christ that we celebrate this time of year. I love you guys and can't wait to talk to you:) But please write back ASAP so we can set a time to talk!! 

con mucho amor,
Elder Pajarito 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey guys!!!

Well first of all i would like to thank everyone for the packages and letters you guys sent to me, i just barely got them this week but they were super awesome! I enjoyed my Goldfish, Easy Mac, and all the letters and candy you guys sent me, you guys are the best:) Also i'm excited to see pictures of all the great thanksgiving food you guys are going to eat this week, unfortunately... I will not be celebrating it this year... :( But it's okay, i'll eat a Turkey sandwich and call it good.

Well this week has been another super busy one. I feel like i say this every week but this week really was. Haha, opening the area here hasn't been too easy, because we haven't had much of anything. But on Friday and Saturday we ended up contacting like crazy and found a ton of cool people! So after a week and a half of nothing we got overloaded with awesome people the last 2 days of the week, so that was definitely a blessing for us. Our area is HUGE and we have a mix of areas that are super, super poor and other parts that are super ´fresa´ as they´re called here. haha, or super rich. But it´s a cool area. We moved into our new house on Tuesday and it's really really nice! ill send pictures later. But the only problem is that we live on the edge of the area so we're not close to anything at all. Dad was asking about how we are doing it with 4 missionaries in the ward and we made a division in the area with the bishopric and me and Elder Porras are assigned to work in one part, and the Zone leaders in the other part. But more than anything it's just split up for the investigators and less active members, and we eat together all 4 of us everyday. Which is cool. The Zone leaders are crazy. 

What else happened this week.. We also had interviews with the president on Wednesday which was awesome! I love President Rodriguez, and i always leave feeling inspired and con más ganas de trabajar (more desire to work)... I don't remember how to say that normally in English... haha. i'm excited to talk to you guys in a few weeks so you can hear my broken english now! it's pretty funny, i don't know how it will be trying to have a conversation in english now, but i guess we'll see how it goes:) But i always love talking with President and then being able to see Elder Islas all the time. He's so cool! When we both finish our mission he is going to come visit us in Plano, just a heads up:)

Also yesterday me and Elder Porras were asked to speak in church, and i spoke on making weak things strong. And i focused my talk on one of my favorite scriptures! it's in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. It's a super powerful scripture, you guys should look it up! But in the scripture it says something really interesting, Paul is talking and it says at the end ''...for when i am weak, then am I strong'' And it made me think a lot reading this scripture! But really God gives us weaknesses because he knows we have the potential to overcome them, but he also knows that the only way our weaknesses will be strengthened will be if we come to Him for His help. Because it's only through His grace that we are able to overcome our weaknesses, and being sufficiently humble enough to recognize that we aren't perfect. God lets us fall because he knows we have the ability to get up stronger. And God will always be there in the exact moment that we need it to be able to overcome whatever challenge we have. He´s waiting there with His hand extended ready to lift us up, we just have to be take His hand and use His help.

Well, in this time of Thanksgiving I would like to tell you guys thanks for everything. Thanks for all the support and love you give me, i wish you guys understood how much it helps me in hard times. Thanks for always being there for me and for always making me smile. you guys are crazy and i wouldn't trade you guys for anyone else, i love you guys SOOO much and i always have a prayer in my heart for you. I miss you and i hope you have a great week this week and remember to always have gratitude for the things that you have, because being here i've seen that really there are people with  A LOT less. 

Also, i don't remember if i already mentioned this or not but our bishop's 4 year old daughter has been having surgeries all week in Monterrey on her heart, and right now things aren't looking very good. So if you guys could keep her and her family in your prayers this week that would be great. 


Elder Pajarito 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back in Saltillo

Hey guys!!!

Well first off... i would like to just say a few words related to the death in the family this week. it's truly a tragedy that she has passed away, she was always so good to me and to the family, and she never let us down. Sure she had a few problems here and there, but don't we all? Although her body will no longer be with us, her spirit will forever remain in our hearts. And i will never forget all of the memories we shared together. I love you Bessie, R.I.P. :(  (For those who may not know, Bessie was our 1998 Nissan Altima that we had to "put to sleep" last week -- she was a good car).

Hahaha, well on a brighter note, CONGRATULATIONS KEVIN AND CORTNEY!!!!!!!! I´m so excited for you guys!! And even more excited because it will be born only a little bit before i´m coming home, but that's so awesome! You guys are going to be awesome parents. Also, way to go Kendall on the ACT!!! That's awesome! Now it´s pretty much a guarantee that we will be partying it up in Provo soon:) 

Wow, i feel like i have so much to tell you guys. I have no idea where to start. Well i'll start off by telling you guys how my last week in Monclova went, well.. it was awesome!!!! We had our 4 baptisms of the Familia L M and it was an incredible service. At the end of it O (the 11 year old) got up in front of everybody to give his testimony and to thank everyone for everything for what they had done for his family and how happy he was to finally be able to say that he is a member of the church, it left everyone in tears. It was super super powerful and really incredible to be able to baptize them the last Sunday i was there. I will send you guys pictures in a little bit, well i am back here in Saltillo again which is awesome! i love being back in saltillo, my area is Corona 2, and our area is basically the whole centro, so it's huge!! And really confusing, but we're getting to know the area a little better. Well on Tuesday in the mission offices we got our kids and had our little training thing again.   My new kid is Elder Porras! He's from Hidalgo. He's super super serious and quiet, which is a little weird for me after being with Elder Jacinto who was always talking and joking around. But he seems cool! And he really has a desire to serve, he just has gotta break out of his shell a little bit, which is what i've been trying to help him to do. But it was really cool also to go to the mission offices because i saw Elder Islas! my dad! i hadn't seen him since we were companions and like i think i told you guys he's the new assistant so it was REALLY great to see him and talk to him again. Well this week has been super crazy because none of us really know how to have 4 Elders in one area, so we've been working on making the division in the area and finding a house for us (because as of right now we are all living in the same house with only 2 mattresses...) and meeting all the members. But we finally were able to find a really really nice house with the Relief Society President  so we will probably be moving everything in there either tonight or tomorrow. Also like i told you guys i am now a District Leader! Which has been really really awesome honestly, I have found myself not only worrying for me and my companion but also the Elders in my district. There's 8 missionaries in our district and we had our first meeting on Wednesday, and it was really cool! Elder Knight (who was in my district the first 4 changes of my mission) is in it with his son, and then the zone leaders, me and my son, and 2 other Elders who you guys wouldn't know even if i told you. haha, but it's cool because Elder Islas had already taught me how to ask for the numbers and everything so I've loved doing that and being able to talk to my district every night and try to help them with their problems. i love what Dad told me in his letter about being a servant, and being primarily their friend and servant and later their leader is what i've been trying to do. And it's been great so far! I'm excited for the opportunity the Lord has given me to be a leader. so i'm going to echarle ganas! Haha, you guys can ask dad what that means.

But I'm loving the mission guys, something awesome happens every single day and i absolutely love it. I also realize that in a month that i will be able to talk to you guys! So get excited!:) i love you guys!!!! And i hope you have a great week! Always remember to put the Lord first in all that you do, and trust that He will never lead you astray. les amo!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

P.S Also, funny side note. Literally no one in the mission calls me Elder Bird, EVERYONE calls me Elder Pájaro. Haha, even the president! haha, it's funny.  

Saying Goodbye in Montclavo

Hermanos I Lived with in Montclavo

My Son and My Dad -- A family Picture

Baptism of Family LM

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm Getting Another Kid

Well I have no time at all because i  just got a call from the assistants that I have a transfer! It's seriously super unexpected, but they called me and said they were very content and impressed with the work we did this change and so they're going to put me to train again but with another kid! And i have to be in the central at 4:30 to go to Saltillo again so i have 4 hours to pack everything and get ready and say all my goodbyes. I'm super excited but it's so crazy at the same time! And i'm SUPER sad to be leaving this area! But i'm excited to see what else the Lord has in store for me. I love you guys and i won't have any time to get on to write you guys later but i miss you all and i'll let you guys know where i end up hopefully later this week! Love you all!!

Elder Bird

Quick follow up . . . 

Awesome letter! I would love to give you a good letter reply but i don´t really have any time. I´m here in the offices and we´re waiting to get our new kids. My new area is in Saltillo again! And i´ll be sharing an area with the zone leaders which will be cool, and... i´m district leader now!!! wooh! I´m pretty nervous because they said i have a big district, but i feel like i´m ready and i´m super excited to be back in Saltillo! So we´ll see how it goes. Love you! Hope you have a great week! Say hi to everyone for me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."

Hey guys!!!! Well i didn't get any pictures of your halloween costumes but it sounds like you guys had a pretty fun week with lots and lots of stuff to do! Everyone told me last week that no one really does anything for halloween here so i wasn't expecting much but there were a lot of people walking through the streets! So it was fun to see all the kids walking through the streets, only that here instead of saying trick or treat they just ask for 'halloween'. Haha, so that was kinda weird. And then the 1st and 2nd was dia de los muertos, so there were a lot of people in the streets doing some ritual or something it looked like, but i forgot to bring my camera, otherwise i would have recorded it. Then on Saturday night a family in our ward had a birthday party for their little daughter and they invited us to come and it was a lot of fun! A lot of the members of the ward went and a few of our investigators too, so it was a good time:) Then today for a zone activity we went to this place called Magic Bowl and played pool and ping pong and bowled (obviously). And I scored 200!!!! I took a picture of it so i'll send that to you guys, but  everyone was impressed. :) Also we've been kinda stressing out this week because the bishop asked us to organize EVERYTHING for a noche mexicana de talento that we're going to have the 15th. And we literally know nothing about that kind of stuff, so we're going to be needing a lot of help from the members this week to get it all ready for the next week.

Well we had to move the baptism to this week instead of yesterday because there was some scheduling conflicts but it's all good! So the 4 kids are going to get baptized this sunday! So we're super super excited for that. Right now we've just been reviewing everything with them and helping them stay excited for their baptism so it's been pretty laid back with them. But the most powerful experiences this week have come with a few less active families in the ward. We have found an hermano in the ward who loves doing visits with us so we usually go with him one or 2 nights a week to visit less active members, and on halloween we were with him visiting a few families when another less active member found us on the street and told us he had left his house with the intention of finding the missionaries because he wanted us to give his 3 year old daughter a blessing because she's really sick. So we went to their house and gave the blessing, and the spirit was super super strong. And they later expressed to us how they have missed having the spirit in their home and haven't been able to go to church because their daughter has been super sick. So we invited them on Sunday and we left it at that. Then on Sunday when they didn't show up, the thought occurred to us to bring them the sacrament. So we talked to the bishop and he said we could do it, so we brought a couple of the little cups and a piece of bread to their house. We were able to have a mini sacrament meeting with them in their house and the spirit was soooo strong. They both ended up in tears because it has been such a long time since they have had the sacrament and have been able to feel the spirit. It was really just a really great experience, and it never would have happened if the spirit hadn't given us the impression to bring them the sacrament. As far as investigators, we have the LM family still and they are who is going to get baptized this Sunday. And we also had a really really spiritual lesson with another investigator yesterday who is struggling with depression and finding hope and a purpose in life. So we were able to teach about plan of salvation and help him understand more the plan God has for us. It was actually pretty cool that we found him because we went to go buy a campechana one night and he was the one cooking them, and we started talking to his friend and she knows a youth in the stake who is about to go on a mission so we started talking to her about the church and then she told us that her friend J was battling with depression and drugs and that she was really worried about him, so that's when we were able to start to talk with him. 

I feel like this week i have really learned a lot about working by the spirit, and following it's promptings. Like it says in 1 Nephi 4:6, that we should always follow the guide of the spirit, even if we don't know what to do. Because I know it's no coincidence that people are placed in our paths as missionaries, and even not as a missionary, because everything happens for a reason and only God has the perfect knowledge of when things should happen. I really have been able to feel the spirit a lot this past week and it's given me a lot of motivation to go out and find all of the people God has prepared for us to find!

Well, I love you guys! And i hope you all have a great week:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Birthday to Audrey

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR AUDREYYYYYY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! I love you Audrey!! I can't believe you're turning 7 already. I hope you have an awesome day on Friday and I wish i could be there with you guys but we will celebrate here on your behalf:)

Also shoutout to Daniel Peterson for coming home!!! I heard his homecoming was pretty incredible, and i'm sure he was an awesome missionary too. And if he sees this or you see him, tell him to write me:) 

Well unfortunately here in Monclova it's started to be hot again. So no more sweaters:( but this week has been incredible! We found a TONNN of people to teach and there were more people in the church yesterday than all the Sundays i have been here. so the members basically love us for all the work we're doing, which is great! Because now we are getting more members to do visits with us and we are getting a ton of references! And other good news... the L family is finally going to get baptized!!! we're soooo excited that they're finally taking this decision, unfortunately the parents can't get baptized still because they don't want to get married, but all 4 of the kids all committed to baptism last week. So if everything goes as planned we will have 4 baptisms this week. so we're pretty stoked:) They're have been so many little miracles with them that have helped them progress and grow closer to God, because with them it hasn't been easy to get them to make the changes necessary. It's been poco a poco. and it has reminded me that God works through the small and simple things. . And that we have to be attentive to the promptings of the spirit and God's hand in our life to recognize them. But as we learn to recognize more the tender mercies in our lives, we will be able to feel more the love that God has for us. And it's a love that we will never be able to understand, because a lot of the times when we pass through trials or have obstacles in our lives it's we think it is because of a lack of love that God has for us, when really it's the exact opposite. God lets us fall because he knows we have the ability to get back up even stronger, and he lets us mess up because he knows that it's through experience that we will reach our potential. Our ability to improve ourselves only comes through the power of Christ, and our willingness to be humble enough to accept the changes that we need to make. Even though it's not easy, it wasn't meant to be easy! If God had made it easy, we wouldn't learn and grow.

Well guys, i hope you can all have a great week and enjoy Halloween and Audrey's birthday. i love you guys a ton and miss you a ton! 

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

My Mexican bottle of Holister Cologne

Helping Investigators Paint

Beautiful Waterfall in the Area

Hiding from my companion on the roof

This is what we do while waiting at a members house for the food to come
This is what we do while waiting at a members house for the food to come -- Part 2
The New Companion and I Busy Pondering

Monday, October 28, 2013

Being A Christlike Person

Hey guys!!!!

Well i'm glad to hear you all had a great week! I still seriously can not wait to watch Audrey play soccer when i get back. You guys will have to send me a video or something. :)

Well I feel like with as much that has happened this week, there's not too much to tell. We continue teaching F, but now she brought a friend G who we are also teaching. They're both cool and continue to progress a lot. We've seemed to kinda hit a stopping point with the Family LM, because they still don't want to get married. So as for now our plan is to focus more on the kids to get baptized so we can motivate the parents to get married, but we'll see how that goes. It was kind of a bummer because we had 8 people committed to come to church yesterday but only had 1 person come! Things popped up and for one reason or another the rest of them weren't able to go. But we did have 2 inactive families come to church yesterday which was super cool! 

We've been working a ton with the members and less active members with noches de hogar and having them invite friends, and it's been working pretty well! We've gotten some really good references from it. But it's been a little weird trying to adjust the way we work so much. I feel like every 6 weeks there is a drastic change in how we have to work which has kinda made it a little hard at times to adjust. But i feel like we've finally got a good feel on how to get things done! What else what else... well today we had a zone activity and got permission to watch Despicable Me 2 in the church, so that was awesome!! I don't know if it's because it's just been too long since i've seen a real movie but i was seriously dying laughing the whole time. And a member brought us all carne asada so i ate a tonnnnnnnnn! Also for a side note, i'm gaining a ton of weight! I weighed myself the other day and guess how much i weigh... 169 pounds!! I like to think it's because i do exercise every day, but i really know it's because the 3 pounds of flour tortillas i eat daily... So don't make fun of me if i come back from the mission obese. Hahaha

So about 2 months ago Aunt Larissa sent me a quote that has seriously made such a difference in the way i look at things and the way i act, and i wanna share it with you guys, because it's awesome!!

         People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. 
                Forgive them  anyway.
           If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  
               Be kind anyway.
           If you are honest and sincere people may cheat you.  
              Be honest and sincere anyway.
           If you find happiness, some may be jealous.  
              Be happy anyway.
          The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow. 
              Do good anyway.
          Give the best you have, and it may never be enough.  
             Give your best anyway.
        Because in the end, it's between you and God.  
              It was never between you and them anyway.

Cool huh? I think that in a nutshell, this is what it means to have charity. Or having the amount of love necessary to be willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord, and for others, regardless if it backfires on you or if you don't see the results. And really that's what i've tried to reflect since being here, to just be Christlike and a good person no matter what, because in the end it will only matter what God thinks. And i've been able to find a different kind of happiness in being more servicial (i don't remember how to say that in english) and turning outwards. The talk ''Characters of Christ'' by Elder Bednar talks about this too and is seriously one of the best talks i've ever heard, so if you haven't read it, you guys should look it up!! And really the more we turn outwards and just do good for everyone around you, you develop a new kind of love for them and for yourself también. Well that's all i got for now! I'll try to write you guys back (the ones who wrote me). Love you guys!!!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Bird 

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Everybody Falls Sometimes . . . You Will Have The Strength to Rise"

Hey guys!!!
Well it sounds like it's been a super busy week again for you guys, and almost all of you guys said something about having a few rough days. What's up with that?!?! But i hope you guys are doing better and you guys know that if there's anything you guys need, i'm just an email away! 

Well first week of training has not been easy, but it has been a good one. My companion's name is Elder Jacinto!! He is from Puebla and he just barely turned 18 a couple months ago. He's super excited to do the work so that's definitely been a plus! I'll send you guys a picture of him when i finish this. Well after i wrote you guys last week we went to the bus station here and then traveled the 3 hours to Saltillo so we didn't get there until like 10ish, then all the trainers and new missionaries slept in the house of the assistants (which is RIDICULOUSLY nice for a mission house) but the problem was that we were like.. 30 missionaries, but only about 13 mattresses. So i had to sleep 3 to a mattress... so that wasn't comfortable. But then Tuesday we went to the offices and ate and had  a quick training and met our kids and then headed back here to Monclova! This past week has been super super busy with conference and trying to coordinate all of our investigators going with who and when and less active members too, but in the end we had a lot of them come to one or more sessions, which was way cool! And this time we were allowed to go to all of the sessions, whereas last time we could only go to priesthood and the first one on Sunday. So it was really awesome to hear all of the talks this time! There were a lot of ones that i LOVEDDDD. But i'll get to that in a second. 

This week we put another baptism date for F for the 20th of October and she already wants to get baptized! But the problem continues being her mom... who still refuses to talk to us. So we´re going to see what we can do there. The family L is still really really awesome and were able to go to 2 sessions of conference and they loved all the messages that were taught! But still their problem is they aren't married and still don´t want to be. Because really that´s the only thing that´s keeping them from all getting baptized. But they continue to progress bastante! I realized the other day that when i finish training i will have a year in the mission and i will not have had an american companion, pretty crazy huh? I won't be remember to speak English anymore! Haha.
Well out of all the talks, i think the one that hit me the most was one by President Uchtdorf in priesthood session. He talked about an experience when he was skiing with his grandson i think it was, and how he fell and felt really embarrassed to get up because he had fallen, but his grandson came up to him and all he said was ''you can do it now''. Then he talked about how as humans, falling is what we do, but as long as we are WILLING to get back up and become better, that's what will make us better people, and bring us more happiness. Because no one likes to fail, but ultimately our destination is determined by the number of times we can get up after we fall. And although that doesn't mean we should be comfortable with our weaknesses, but instead we should strive to turn our weaknesses into strengths by coming to Christ to reach our full potential. And something that was mentioned various times as well is that if we are passing through a difficult challenge or trial, it's because God trusts us enough because he knows the potential we have. There was a poem that President Monson gave that went... ''Good timber does not grow with ease, the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.'' And i lovedddd that! Because right now i feel a little overwhelmed, and it sounds like you guys too have been having feelings of this too, but really it's because God knows of our strength, and he will never give us something we can't overcome, and ultimately what will define us is whether we come out of it stronger.
Well i feel like this is plenty long, thanks for all the letters this week to everyone! I got a bunch and it made me feel loved:) haha i love all you guys and i hope you have a great week!!!
Con mucho amor, 
Elder Bird

I'm getting a kid

Well first off... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR GRANTTTTTTTT!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! We were going to make you a super sweet video but we kinda ran out of time, but happy birthday dude! 14 years old, that's crazy! But also i have literally like 5 minutes to write because in... 35 minutes i will be going to Saltillo to stay the night because tomorrow i'm getting a kid!! (or for those of you who haven't served a mission, i'm going to train!) So i'm way stoked!! I'm staying in my area with my kid, who i will meet tomorrow, and Elder Lopez is going to the area literally right next to us as District Leader, so that'll be super cool!! I'm way excited to train. But so for now that's what's up, this week was really good, had some great experiences and lessons with the family we are teaching but i don't have any time to tell you guys about it. But all is well and life is great here in Mexico! And be sure to eat some extra cake for me! And i PROMISE to send you guys some pictures next time because i've definitely been slacking on that. But i love you guys a ton and i hope Grant has had a GREATTTTT day today!! (and i guess the rest of you too.. haha) Have a great week!!

con MUCHÍSIMO amor,
Elder Bird 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Work Continues

Hey guys!!!

Well it sounds like every week you guys are getting busier and busier! But way to go Grant and Caden with those merit badges, and Kendall and Audrey with your dancing skills! Dad sent me the video but it won't let me watch it... so you guys should send it again! And I can't believe Grant turns 14 next week. That's crazy! You guys need to stop growing up so fast and wait for me to get home. Haha, but the hermana that we are teaching invited us to eat dinner with them on her birthday (the 28th) so it's ALMOST like i'll be celebrating his birthday too. So a few of you asked me this week in your letters about what advice i have as far as helping you guys use preach my gospel and how to better prepare the kids for future missions. And i think it's a greatttt idea to start using preach my gospel in family home evenings!! There's a lot of power in there and you guys will be able to find a lot of good ideas in there. There's a section that recently we have been using a lot to teach the members how to share the gospel and it's chapter 9, and there you'll be able to find easy ways to recognize opportunities to share the gospel and whatever fear or impediment you might have comes there too. And specifically the section called "The importance of Members". And as far as advice in helping you guys turn the home into the MTC as you were taught in the fireside, the first thing i would say is set goals!! Lots and lots of goals, as far as scripture study, Preach My Gospel study, giving Family Home Evening lessons, sharing the gospel with friends, inviting people to church. Everything! Goals will help a ton i feel like. And in chapter 8 of PMG there's a part specifically about that that's super helpful. So i hope this helps you guys a little bit!

Well this week was pretty interesting here in my area. There were a couple shootings nearby which was kinda intense, so there were a couple nights were we didn't get much sleep. But nothing has happened to us so that's good. Dad asked me if Monclova is safer than Saltillo and I would have to say that the situation here is worse.There's a lot of neighborhoods where the missionaries can't go in because of all the problems there.  I think it gets more dangerous the more north you go in our mission. And that sentence sounds ugly but idk how to change  it to make it sound better... Haha i was talking to Elder Lopez the other day that i am legitimately forgetting English now. But i'm still not completely fluent in Spanish either, so it's like i can't even communicate anymore... hahaha. It's not that extreme but it's kinda funny.  I think i've already told you guys this but i've started to dream in spanish now! Which is really cool! Weird... but cool. Again we had 7 investigators in church yesterday, the L family and then F. So that was pretty cool! They all have 4 times in church (except E who has 8) so technically they could be baptized next week. But they're still a little stubborn, so we gotta work with them a lot this week to help them with all the little doubts that they have. But I feel like soon they should be prepared and ready to take a baptism. And with F the problem is her mom, who doesn't like that she goes to church at all. So we have to talk with her more in order to get her blessing to baptize F, because F already wants to do it. So we have some pretty great investigators right now!!

Well that's all i got for you guys right now, but i'll try to respond to each of you individually!! Love you guy and i hope you have a great week!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Missionaries Leave for Two Years

Hey guys!!! Well from all the letters it sounds like you guys are all pretty much super stars and kick some trash in everything!! I'm glad i could pass along all of my soccer and scouting (and Dancing for Kendall) skills to all of you!:) And thanks a ton Dad for sending me my patriarchal blessing, i've been DYING to read it again so thanks a lot! And also i loved your letter! The little every day thing is really cool! Kendall does that to and i think it's sweet! And I was able to learn a lot reading about what you're teaching in seminary. And the pictures that mom sent me of Kendall and Audrey are the best! Audrey's too stinkin' cute. And Kendall... i guess you are too:) but i LOVE getting pictures and videos from you guys, just throwing that out there. The more pictures the better.

Well it's been another great week here in Monclova! On Tuesday, the week started off with divisions with Elder Harrington, we went to his area right after the Zone meeting and Elder Vera (our DL) went with Lopez in my area for the day. We had a lot of good lessons with the investigators in the area but Elder Harrington speaks basically no spanish at all so it was nice for once being the companion that knows more Spanish. Haha, then we met up with Lopez and Vera that night and as we were walking back a bunch of people were telling me and Elder Harrington congratulations, but we had no idea why... but comes to find out that the U.S beat Mexico in soccer! wooh!!!! Haha, but it was just funny because we were so confused as to why people kept congratulating us. But when Elder Lopez and I got back to the house guess what we found under his bed... a rat!!! But then it ran and hid somewhere in the room and we have yet to find it.... i'm just hoping it's not in my stuff anywhere. Haha, then Wednesday was another good day and we had a really good lesson with Emma and her family and also with a recent convert Ivan and his family who we are also teaching. And it was Ivan's birthday too, he turned 13 so he invited us over for cake and tamales. His dad doesn't really like us being there and so it's always a little awkward when we go over, but his mom and his sister and him all love us so i think for that reason his dad kinda has backed out a little bit. But his mom came to church yesterday for the first time so that was sweet!! So did Fer (the 14 year old who we are teaching through Lolita who is a recent convert) and the WHOLE family of Emma. So in total we had 9 investigators in church yesterday which was way cool! So now Emma has.. 7 times in the church, and her family 3. So hopefully ina few weeks they will choose to get baptized! But we don't want to push anything because they're a little stubborn in a few things. But they're a super super super cool family and they seriously love us! Now we're just trying to get them to love the gospel more, but they are progressing a ton, just need a little bit more work. And we still haven't gotten them to say anything to us about the fact they aren't married, so we are working on how to address that so we can help marry them. Because i think i already mentioned this but the family in who gave us the reference told us that they aren't married, but Emma's parents don't know that we know that... so that's the tricky part. But guys... this ward is seriously a little on the crazy side. I mean there's a lot of good people in the ward, but seriously every single class and lesson ends up in an argument! It gets pretty uncomfortable, like half the room will be arguing and then the younger half will be laughing because the others are arguing. It's seriously the most interesting ward i've ever been in. But yesterday it started to rain a tonnnn, and it still hasn't stopped! We actually had a little bit of water come in the house overnight but luckily none of our stuff got wet. But it's been nice with the rain because it's made the temperature drop a ton! 

Well yesterday we got to church and Bishop decided to assign us to talk! Haha, you always gotta be prepared on a mission. So I wasn't really sure what I wanted to talk about when i got up there but it actually ended up being really good! My best talk i've given here for sure. And i may or may have not cried a little bit... Haha it's because the ward choir sang 'A Child's prayer' before my talk, and that made me think of the little guys, and then in my talk i was talking about eternal families and yeah... so it's all your guys' fault!! Haha, but really I was thinking about you guys a ton this past week, like every other week. And the more I think about it the more I feel grateful for God's plan that he's given us to allow families to be together after death. Because it wouldn't make sense at all to live your life with them making you so happy just to have it end when we die... And that knowledge has been one of my biggest motivators in my mission. I feel like God has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of families who need this message specifically, who need the knowledge and hope of God's great plan. There's a quote that I heard in the MTC that I LOVE, that I can't remember if i've saidbefore or not... but it's 

''Missionaries leave their families for 2 years, so that other families can be together for eternity.'''

And that's been one of my biggest motivators for me in my mission so far, because there's not a day that i don't think about you guys, and for me it hasn't been all that easy to be away from you guys, because you guys are the best and i miss you guys a tonnnnn! But the knowledge that I can be an instrument for God to help other families have the same happiness and knowledge that we have has helped me so much. And being able to find the families that God has prepared for this has been an incredible miracle for me to see, and for all of them who now have a new hope and happiness in their life. And that makes EVERYTHING worth it.

Well i love you guys a ton!! And I hope you all have a great week!!!:)

Elder Bird

Monday, September 9, 2013


Hey guys!!!!

So sorry about not writing a big letter last week, but this week's one will be so good it'll make up for last week:) So it seems like everyone's starting to get sick, and i am definitely not okay with that! You guys gotta get better fast. Also maybe someone did tell me and i completely missed it but i didn't know Dad was teaching the freshman sohphomore class instead of the senior class? But that would mean that next year Grant would be in his class which would be pretty sweet! So new discovery of the week: cockroaches? yep, they can fly. who knew?!? well.. we didn't! And there have been TONS of them in our house lately.. and you guys know how much i love bugs.

Well this week has been very eventful!! Yesterday we had stake conference here and we had 6 investigators in church! Which was way cool! It's the family of a girl we have been teaching, but it's cost us a little bit of work to get all of them interested but now they have 2 times in church while Emma, the girl already has 6. But the only problem right now is that Emma doesn't want to get baptized alone, and we can't baptize her family yet because they have to go atleast 5 times to church, AND the parents aren't legally married... but they don't know that we know that (Their member friends told us). So we have been trying to address that but we haven't been really sure how. But they have progressed a whole lot this week. But right now their biggest setback is they have trouble with the concept of faith, and they want to rely more on scientific facts. But we have made a plan to help them understand better how to have more faith. But they're a really really cool family and have been super awesome to us. This week we also had interviews with President Rodriguez, which is always great to see him. I always leave feeling more motivated and with a better understanding of how to serve more diligently. He gave me some great advice for us for our area and for me personally to be able to be better.

Well, something that I have been studying a lot this week is Diligence, and what Gods expects from us as his children. And there were a lot of cool things i found but what i was able to talk out of it was that God doesn't expect perfection, he knows we all have weaknesses, but what he does expect is Diligence. Or being everything you can be, the very best you can be, no matter what. And serving God, and the people around you, even when you feel like you can't. Something I've really tried to capture and become since i got here is someone who puts himself second. To always serve others and God first, no matter how tired you are. Because as a missionary I think there have been times where i have been more tired than i have ever been in my life... ha but it's been in these times where i've really understood what it means to be a SERVANT of Christ, and to always put His will before yours. And in the scriptures it promises us that we will be blessed for our diligence, but maybe not in the time that WE want, which is the hard part of it all. But i invite you guys to try to take that extra step and do maybe just a little bit more, even when you think you can't. And you'll be surprised at the results it brings:)

Well I  love you guys a lot!!! And i miss you even more! I hope you all have a great  week:)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Area!!

Hey guys!!!!

Well you guys were on my mind a lot today since it's your first day of school for everyone!! I hope you guys don't hate your lives too much haha. But I can't wait to hear all about how it went. It's crazy that Caden now has the priesthood and is in middle school and Kendall is starting her senior year! When did everyone start growing up so fast?!

Steel Plant in Manclavo

Well last week it turns out that I got changed and got sent to Monclova! The area is Pioneros and i'm with Elder Lopez, who's from Mexico City. The area here is COMPLETELYYY different from my area in Saltillo. My area has parts where it's just ranches, and it's superrrrrrrrrr hot here. Way hotter than Saltillo, I heard a rumor that Monclova on average is actually the hottest place in Mexico, I don't know how true that is or not but it' definitely super stinkin hot. But I took a few pictures of the area so I'll send those to you guys as well. We live next to this GIANTTT factory, and we're not really sure what it does but it gives off a wholeee lot of pollution. Haha, and it also looks like six flags at night. Haha, umm the zone here is way smaller than the zone I was in in Saltillo, only about 12 missionaries, but they're all cool. And Elder Shaum is here in the zone! SO that's been way cool to reunite with him. 

But this week has been good, a lot of meeting members and then the investigators that they already had in teaching. One family in particular that we are teaching is super cool! It's a family of 6, but as of now only the daughter Emma has gone to church more than once. She went her 5th time yesterday so we are going to work with her this week to see how she feels about baptism! Apparently her only problem is that she doesn't want to do it alone and wants to do it with her family. But they have only gone one time to church, and couldn't go yesterday because they had car problems. but we are going to work with them this week. Well something that we have done a lot of this week is teaching the lessons to members, which is a result of what we were told in our conference with Elder de Hoyos, so we had a family home evening with a member family almost every night this week. And it's brought a ton of good results! So that's been something new for us but so far so good!

Well I'll send you guys some of the pictures I took this week! I hope that all of you guys are doing great and had a great first day of school. Love you guys:)

Elder Bird
New Missionary Transportation

Busy Painting a House

The Apartment

Monday, August 19, 2013

Will I Stay or Will I Go??

Hey guys! Sorry this is coming in so late, we've been super super busy today doing everything getting ready for transfers tomorrow because i'm 97% sure i am going to get transferred. I already packed up all my stuff last night. Haha,so i've been saying all my goodbyes the last few days, and will be saying more tonight. I really don't wanna leave this area but i think it's time. But i will let you guys know as soon as i know. Also... Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear mom and Cadennnnnnn. Happy birthday to you! I bet you guys thought i would forget huh? But nope! I was going to send you guys a sweet gift, but... i'm poor. Haha, and i didn't really have time to do it. But i'll make up for it later:) But you guys will have to tell me next week how your birthdays go!

Well this week has been another good one, this weekend was Stake conference and also all the mission had a conference with Elder de Hoyos from the Area presidency. which was really good! But they have raised the bar for missionary work to a really high level now, which is all good. It will just require a lot of work, but of course no one said missionary work would be easy:) now the new rule here in mexico is that investigators have to go FIVE times to church before they get baptized, when before it was only 2. So that's a huge change, because we'll have to adjust our teaching and planning to accommodate for that. But it's all good. Now hopefully the investigators that do get baptized will have a better chance of staying active and truly being converted, which of course is our goal anyways. Just different way to work now.

Well i'm sorry i don't have much this week but it's been a relatively slow week, but i will let you guys know about transfers as soon as i find out. I hope you al have a great last week of your summer, do lots of swimming for me. Love you guys!!!

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Great Week

Hey guys!!! Well it sounds like you guys have had another great week! And sounds like Caden is being quite the trooper today, you guys will have to let me know how all of that turns out. Also that's sweet that Kevin and Cortney have officially moved to Plano! Wooh! That's way exciting! Where are they living? All i know is that they'll be in the Allen stake, which means they must be pretty close to our house.

Well, it's been a great and successful week here in the Zaragoza ward. We had 5 baptisms this weekend! 4 on Saturday, and then one yesterday. It was pretty stressful trying to organize it and coordinate all of it, but all worth it. On Saturday we baptized the N family, which was super cool. All 4 of the members of the family got baptized, C, C, I, and K. They're suchhhhhh a cool family. And they live like 15 houses away from the G family (the other family we baptized) so it'll be really convenient when visiting them. haha. But the baptismal service was really great, and the spirit was really strong.They were also all confirmed yesterday, which was super cool. And to celebrate, later tonight they are making us discada, which is seriously one of the most delicious foods that exists. You guys should have Dad look it up and try to make it! So yeah we're pretty excited about that. And then yesterday we baptized I, but we did it in the church in the area called Zarco, which is also in Saltillo but about 20 minutes away, because she got baptized with her cousin also. But Elder Barrera is in that ward, (he was in my district the first 2 changes) so it was really cool to be able to see him again! The baptism went well, except for the water was FREEZING cold, and Iris had a really hard time getting in the water. ha, but everything ended up fine. 

Well apart from all of them we have also continued to work with Á, and we had some SUPER powerful lessons with him along with his girlfriend and her family (who are members) this week and he really is progressing a lot, even though unfortunately i probably won't be here to see him get baptized since cambios are this next tuesday. But it's okay. Also, I would like to ask you guys to keep our ward mission leader in your prayers this week. He had a pretty severe seizure this Wednesday just a few minutes before we were going to go over for our weekly meeting with him. So he is in pretty bad shape right now, his tongue is really badly bitten, and he has a lot of other problems right now due to the seizure. So if you could keep A. V. in your prayers that would be great.

Well that's all i got for you guys this week, i'll send you the pictures in  a second but also let me know what else you want me to write about in my letters so i don't bore you guys! Haha, i feel like my letters are kinda boring so whatever else you want me to write about just let me know and i'd be gladly to share it with you guys:)

I miss you all and love you even more! have a great week!!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Another Exciting Week

Hey guys!!! Well it was so great to hear from every single one of you this week!!! Sounds like you're all doing great and staying plenty busy to finish up the summer. When does school start for you guys? I imagine in a couple weeks? Well now that it's official I can congratulate dad on his new calling as a seminary teacher!! That'll be super  cool! Especially if you end up teaching Kendall's class. 

Well this week has been really good for our investigators. The N Family went to church again yesterday and continue strong and excited for their baptism this Sunday. Also we met I and Á this week. I is the daughter of a less active member who we have been teaching this week. We had a really really powerful lesson about the restoration and she was able to feel the spirit very strong and was reminded of the testimony she had. Now we are just having some problems because her husband, who doesn't believe in God or support us teaching them, is doing everything he can so that Iris won't get baptized this week. So that's been a little tough but we are still working with them and she is also preparing to be baptized this Sunday. Ä is the boyfriend of one of the young women in our ward and he came to church on Sunday and had a lot of questions for us, so we've been working a lot with him as well.
Well this week was a little less crazy as far as the scary stuff. Except Wednesday, all of Saltillo was under ´Codigo Rojo´(code red) because there were like 17 murders the night before, and 5 or 6 in our area. Supposedly there were supposed to be a bunch of shootings in the streets that day so literally NO ONE was in the streets the whole day except for us that day because everyone was inside their house. That was kinda scary... but luckily nothing happened here. 

So something that I have been thinking about a lot this week is obedience and the blessings that come with it. There's a scripture that Dad always quotes and that I have really come to understand, D&C 82:10, that God is forced to bless us when we do what he says. And in the mission I have really seen the blessings of being obedient, even when it's not convenient or the ´fun´ thing to do. So try and be more obedient to God's commandments this week!:)

Well i love you all and i hope you have a great week!

Elder Bird