Monday, January 27, 2014

Recognizing Gods Blessings - January 20, 2014

Hey guys!! I hope you are enjoying your day off!  I'm on a little earlier because we are going to have an activity with the stake president in a little bit. He's going to make the whole zone nachos and we're going to watch a movie with him. He's sooooo cool! He always does really awesome things for us.

Well this week has been pretty interesting to say the least. So on Tuesday night we had scheduled a meeting with our ward mission leader in the church at 7. So on our way we met this kid from Monterrey who apparently is a member of a ward over there, he's 18 and this is the story that he told us. that he had run away from home that morning without telling his parents or anybody, so he took a bus from Monterrey to Saltillo (like 1 hour and a half away) to come climb this giant hill because he said he saw it in a dream he had. and in the dream he climbed up it and his girlfriend (now ex girlfriend as of like 2 weeks ago) was up there waiting for him. so he came here! but he had never been here before, knew no one here, had nowhere to stay, and nothing to do except climb this hill and be alone. so he said he was looking for us all day so we could talk to him, and so we talked to him and calmed him down and bought him something to eat and then gave him a blessing and helped him find The Red Cross shelter so he would have a place to stay. so we dropped him off there at like 9:30ish, but then in the morning his mom called us from Monterrey and said he was already home again sleeping! but she asked us a million questions about how he was or what conditions we found him in and all that stuff. but it was super super weird! And then on Wednesday, Elder Porras got sick and we had to take him to the doctor and it turns out he had a stomach infection so he had to rest all day Wednesday and then part of the day Thursday because he was throwing up a lot. Poor guy, but luckily he got better relatively quick so we could start to work again on Thursday! Ooh also on Tuesday you will never guess what they gave us to eat... grasshoppers! They just fried them up and put salt on them and put them in front of us in a big bowl as if they were chips. I tried it just to say that i ate a grasshopper but it was soooo gross! Haha i had fear that they were going to start hopping around in my mouth, but yeah so i would not recommend it. Also, yesterday at church the bishopric gave us a 10 second notice to give a talk haha, so that was fun. I always love when that happens... 

Well these past 2 changes i feel like I've really learned a lot, and even though we haven't baptized we have really been able to have some awesome experiences. So as i think I've explained before, alllll of our investigators have health problems. 2 of them have cancer, one of them just had his foot amputated, one of them is paralyzed from the waist down, one of them has really bad diabetes and is going blind, so it's been SUPER hard to get them to try to go to church! But as we have taught them and gotten to know them better it has really humbled me so much. And every time i begin to think about a problem i am going through, i realize that there are people who have problems soooo much bigger than i do. And that if i am here in this area right now, it's because God has trusted me to be able to try and help the people here. We've seen so many sad situations recently but we have seen the Lord's hand in our lives and in their lives by giving them more hope. And in spite of their circumstances their faith in the Lord has strengthened mine so much and helped me remember that we shouldn't be defined by our circumstances, but instead thank God for the blessings AND the trials we have and always remember that God has something better waiting for us, even when it's hard.

Well I love you guys a ton and i hope you're enjoying your day off and have a great week!:)

Elder Bird 

''For you receive no witness until AFTER the trial of your faith"

Hola Familia!!!!

So it's good to hear the weather was just as crazy there as it has been here! i seriously had to switch from short sleeves shirts to sweaters almost everyday. Gotta love that right? We also don't have any more gas for the boiler so we have been showering with freezing cold water the last few days which has been a whole lot of fun... haha. 

Well this week has been really awesome for us and we have finally been able to start to see results from our work. And it's been really amazing to see the Lord's hand in guiding us to the people he has prepared for us to find. As i have told you guys before i think the ward here is divided into 2 areas, and our side of the area has maybe 10 members and the majority of the area have never been touched my missionaries here before. But this week has really been a miracle for us. Since the few members we have in our area haven't been much help we have dedicated almost all of our time this week to just contacting .So what we have been doing is just contacting everyone that we can in all these neighborhoods that have no members or old investigators or anything. And at first we struggled a ton to find people that wanted to listen to us. But in just this week alone we have found about 12 new investigators in a neighborhood that has never seen missionaries before, probably because it's SUPER far away, haha. But after weeks of struggling to find people this week we seemed to find all of the golden investigators that we have been looking for. The first one is Norma, who is a 23 year old single mom of a 5 year old. (who by the way is one of the coolest little kids ever) And we contacted her along with her mom and grandpa, but she was the only one able to go to church this Sunday, but it's been incredible because they have accepted EVERYTHING that we have taught them so far and they are progressing so quickly. It's truly just been a blessing to have found them. We also found a family through a contact we did in the street, her name is Karen and we taught her about the Book of Mormon and then taught the restauracion to her family the next day and they loved it! But unfortunately they weren't able to go to church this week. But really the people we have found this week have made all the searching worth it. I was thinking a lot about a scripture that is in Ether 12, and it says that we won't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith, and that God won't provide any miracle until after he sees the faith of His children. And I've noticed that time and time again on my mission. The miracles and blessings always come after a trial of our faith.

Well, I truly love this work. I know that there's nothing better. I love my Savior and I love you guys!!! Thanks for all your love and support and i hope you all have a GREATTT week!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm An Old Fart!

Well guess what guys... i'm 20!!!?!?! How did that happen? I'm not even a teenager anymore! Well thanks so much to everyone for all the birthday wishes! They really meant a lot to me:) And yes today has been pretty great! The bishop took us to a carne asada buffet which was DELICIOUS!!! I'm not really sure how i fit so much food into my stomach, but it was so cool because you just go there and you sit down and as soon as you sit down there is a guy that comes to your table with a giant plate of carne asada and chicken wings and sausages and quesadillas, you don't even have time to think the whole time because they are bringing you so much food. and it's pretty cheap too! like 8 bucks! so if we come back to visit after i am going to take you guys there:)
Well this week has been pretty awesome because on Wednesday we had our zone conference with the president, which i'll tell you guys about more in a second, and then this weekend was also Stake Conference here, and it was broadcast from Salt Lake with Elder Christenson, and Elder Christofferson, whose Spanish by the way is fantastic, he sounds like a native speaker. And the entire conference was focused on the missionary work! And what we can do as members and as missionaries to be able to bring more people unto Christ, and there were some really awesome messages. And the stake center was FILLED! there wasn't even enough room for everyone to fit which was really cool to see. Also this week i went on divisiones with some of the Elders in my district, which i really love doing because it helps me learn from each one of them and to become a better missionary. And also something cool that happened last monday, we left the Ciber and we went to Soriana (like a walmart) to take out the rent money, and when we went outside to wait for a taxi this guy came up to us and asked us if we were mormon missionaries and we told him yes, and then he told us he was going to buy us all an order of tamales (because there are always old ladies outside selling tamales) so we said sure and thanks a lot! and we turned our heads for 2 seconds and when we went to go ask who we was he had already disappeared! Weird right?! i'm thinking it was one of the 3 nefites... haha. Also there has been a pretty deadly virus going around here so on Friday all the missionaries in the zone had to go get our vaccinations. And you know how much i love shots... but oh man it was PRICELESS to see how much the elders hated needles, there are some pretty awesome pictures that i will try to send you guys of us just in complete fear right before getting the shot. Haha, but now we`re all vaccinated so hopefully we won't catch the virus.
Well on Wednesday like i told you guys we had our Zone conference and like i had been told the work is changing a little bit again! Before the goal for contacts every week was only 15, and now it's 50! And the number of references we have to get every week have TRIPLED! So we will be finding more by our own contacts AND with the members so it should be really awesome! It was fun contacting more this week and we met a ton of people, but unfortunately only one was able to go to church this week. But president shared a lot of scriptures with us but there was one that i really loved, that is found in D&C 60:1-2 and it talks about how God has given all of us talents, we just have to open our mouths instead of hiding the talents that he has given us because we're afraid of what people might say to us. And the only way to find out what our talents are that God has given us is by putting ourselves in situations to practice our talent! But i really liked that message. Sometimes our fear of getting rejected or of embarrassing ourselves keeps us from trying something or following an impression from the spirit to talk to someone, but if the spirit gives you the impression it's because God is trusting you with one of His children to share the gospel and the plan that He has for us.

Well, the church is true guys. I realize that more and more every day i serve. I love the work and we are working hard to bring more results, and more than anything being what the Lord wants me to be. I love you guys so much and thank you for all the birthday wishes!!! Love you!!:)

Elder Pajarito 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pictures in Saltillo

Pre-Christmas Party

Finally Found Someone with our maturity level :)

Do You Like My New Coat?

Christmas Dinner -- After I Cut My Finger

Fun at the Mexican Park

"Chef Elder Pajaro"

Really?  Ice in Saltillo?

Being What The Lord Wants

Hola familia!!!

Oh man, so i definitely miss all the christmas break stuff we always did together, it sounds like you guys had a ton of fun this week with all the family!! Also i heard mom hurt her knee a little bit ice skating? i hope it's better now though?! kendall just told me she hurt it, so you guys gotta update me on that. And from the sounds of it it seems like you guys had an awesome new years!! i'll tell you how mine went in a little bit:) 

So this time of year has just been surprise after surprise for me in how completely different the culture here is! unfortunately no one invited us over for new years... haha but we had our own little missionary party in our house with most of the district. and it was fun! We made molletes, which is just a torta with beans and cheese and chili in it, they were good and cheap so it's the perfect missionary meal haha. Only i was kind of a retard and cut my hand on the bean can and got blood all over the beans... so we had to go buy a new one. Haha, it reminded me of the time i was at amy and andy's house and i cut myself opening the tuna can, i'm just a little special sometimes:) but anyways it was fun! Our neighbors were having a party so it was SUPER loud all night and people were shooting off fireworks all night, so we kinda didn't get that much sleep. But oh my goodness, there were SOOOOOO many empty beer cans on the ground the next day, we could hardly take 2 steps without stepping on a beer can. But i took some videos of the fireworks and when it was 12:00 so i'll try to upload those if i have time! but so that was a fun night! But then this is the part that i DIDN'T know. So apparently here they have 2 christmas basically! FIrst is the normal christmas and then they celebrate los reyes magos, which is today actually! and it's another day of presents, except they actually get more presents today then they do on christmas. crazy right?! what i understand is it's celebrating the 3 wisemen who came and visited Jesus and brought him gifts, but apparently the also come and visit all the houses here over night (last night) to bring gifts, like santa clause! but it's cool! so all the kids today have been walking around with their presents.

Well apart from all that fun stuff, this week has been a pretty stressful week for us with our investigators. it seems all of the people we have been teaching have just stopped progressing, or don't have time for us (which is understandable because of the holidays) but it has been a little frustrating because we really have been working really really hard but we didn't see many results this week. Which has kind of seemed to be a common struggle in this area, which has been pretty tough. When i left my other area we had around 12 investigators progressing and going to church every week and just super awesome! But getting here we havent had that kind of success, and it's been trying us! We look for new ideas to find people and to help the investigators we have but we've been struggling. But we have really made an effort to turn to the Lord in our struggles to find what He wants for us to do and to help us find the people he has prepared for us. but it has definitely been a trial the past few weeks. But we´re working hard at it, don't worry:)

Well this week is going to be awesome because we have our zone conference on wednesday! And rumor has it that they are going to change the way we work AGAIN. Haha, which will mean just another thing to adjust to. But it's okay! I'm excited for it. i actually saw the new mission goals from the zone leaders and they're a lot higher, which will be good! And we will also go back to contacting a lot more, not as much as before but way more than we do now. So the number of contacts and referrals every week is more than tripled now, which will require a lot of work! But it should also bring more results, the important part is that we just do what the Lord wants us to do right?:)

Well i hope you all have a great week, and isn't it crazy this is my last week being a teenager?!? I'm getting so old guys!! Haha, well anyways i love you all:) cuĂ­dense!!!

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird