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