have a companion again! Elder Romero has been nothing but superb this week. We
quickly re-initiated the work by contacting various people by our own efforts,
and strongly establishing the work here in Barrio Reforma. Elder Romero showed
up on Tuesday evening, and is halfway through his mission. He's de puebla, and
he is an athlete and a dedicated servant of the Lord.
Monday I was still in a trio with those Elders de Huertas, and we went to the
nearby Plaza and ate Peter Piper's Pizza in the buffet. I ate two whole pizzas!
ANIMO! [ENCOURAGE!] haha, and I am grateful for the coordination in the ward,
and worked for two days more with priests as my companion. On Tuesday Elder
Romero came just in time to here that we basically have no organization of the
Priesthood in the ward, excluding the Bishop and his counselors. Yesterday I
informed the Stake President that we are working on that. One of the many way
that we are contacting new people is by following the assignments of the bishop
and the lista disconocidas que nos dio el secretario (unknown list I gave the
secretary). I saw flaming pink clouds on Friday night, it rained Saturday, and
things are just about normal again in this sector.
investigators are doing wonderfully! Alex only need to surpass his problem of
smoking this week, Angelito is ready for his baptism on Wednesday, and we have
many baptismal dates for September already. Do you believe in miracles?
In ward council on yesterday the Primary and relief society president informed
the bishop of a little girl who will turn 9 on Tuesday, who is not baptized,
and her parents now want to come back to church. Surprise! A gift from all of
our dificultades de este semana, (difficulties this week) and I am grateful to
see the blessing of the Lord here and in those who surround my life. I know
that when we develop our faith in Christ we acquire greater power than we
realize that we posses. I know this Work of the Lord is real, and I find joy in
proclaiming my voice unto my brotheren here in Tijuana.
not have much time today, but maybe I’ll write tomorrow. I had many remarkable experiences
this week, with my companion Élder Torres, with people, food, and especially
with the Lord. We didn’t baptize anyone yet, but we have three that are progressing
well. My new companion came today, Élder Ramirez. I knew him while I was in
Miramar, he was stationed to the side of my area there. Today he came from very
far, from Colorado San Luis cities, and I only have a few moments to share my
testimony that I know this church is true. God will protect every individual,
family, and country that first puts forth their valiant effort to serve the
Lord. Many question the truth of the gospel, and thanks to questions such as
these our God revealed to Jose smith the fullness of the gospel. I love you
all, and wish to maximize this chance I have to serve the Lord and reflect the indestructible
examples of confidence in the Lord.
I never explained my dog story. My companion is extremely slow, unnecessarily
slow in most things. I help him stay motivated and working at pace.
We were climbing down some stairs, I was in front, and we found a dead
end. There is dogs everywhere, and their barks and yaps don't bother me. We
turned around to climb up, and one dog charged at me. I was on a tire stair
beside a wall, and couldn't turn around nor step up because my companion was
still taking his next step up, and it didn't matter that I was pushing him up.
By the time he bit me, ran away, and I checked to see if it was anything
urgent, he had climbed the ONE stair and asked me, "Did he scare
you?" in Spanish. My mind flipped to English in this moment, and was
responding, "No, he bit me!" and "That's what I said, he bit
me!" "Como?" was his response finally, and I explained what
happened in Spanish.
scout camp was one of the funnest weeks of the summer! Where did you go with
the scouts? And did you go fishing by chance?
getting used to the major streets, roads, and alleys, but there are still areas
that we haven't even touched. Colorado Hill esta media chafa y feo, (Colorado
Hill is mean crappy and ugly) but it's a better sight than dozens of power
lines over my head. I have spent nearly three months here in this area, and I
love the members here, and wish to see them progress spiritually and receive of
the blessings God has in store for them.
these past weeks have been very fun. The Relief society finished making
decorative binders for their Family history, and this past week was a fun
summer activity with water balloons, potato sack races, and volleyball. I was
able to see this because our ward mission leader could not attend these weeks.
It is very nice to see several people assisting ward night, and the attendance
has increased more substantially there then in the Sunday services.
for food, I am still trying to figure out the difference between gelatin of
water (jello), milk gelatin, and flan. Besides that, the ground sausage here
tastes delicious! In this ward there is not many fancy or special foods, but
those members who are willing to serve us give us A LOT. Yesterday, we drank
three pitchers of watermelon lemonade. Yeah, there are a few recipes and ideas
that I can bring home to the kitchen.
only need four (4) generations, but thank you very much for doing this for me.
Hnita. Patty Lara is in charge of the family history in the ward, and is very
effective in her work and supportive in our work as missionaries.
past week the bishopric and the youth were very centered on FSY, which is being
held in our church this week. As an assignment from the bishop we invited
multiple less active and recent converts to participate in this activity.
We have plans to visit their families this upcoming week to help them
apply this spiritual experience in their homes. Alex is progressing very well,
and we are currently finalizing his baptism. Also to serve the bishop, we
are preparing four members to receive the Higher Priesthood and encouraging
temple attendance. Two of the men are less active members that we found
ourselves, and the other two are ward missionaries right now. We have made
invitations to every family, and are animating them to join the ward as they
journey to the temple in the next state over for the last time before the
dedication of the temple here. The bishop asks various things from us,
and although we are only two, we can accomplish all.
week we found a senior couple who are beginning to listen to us, one of whom
could be an uncle of my deranged companion. Oh, and is anyone else besides Ryan
Hall watching Mundial, or the soccer world cup? We heard the final goal passing
by in a taxi, as several houses erupted with noise. As for my soccer skills I
still play like an amateur. Last night I helped a less active member with her
car, thank to my skills working with the truck at home.
Lord requires sacrifice in all that we do. Our ward mission leader is still
amazing and helping us with our most confident investigator, but is passing
through storms in his family, They can't find his son, and it has been nearly
two weeks. His wife is acting like a headless chicken, and his other kids were
already battling to go to church. But I know that the Lord is watching over his
and is very prod of the changes and service he has done in order to follow the
Lord. That kind of service is what we need from every member. If you are
willing to sacrifice just a little more, we shall receive of the blessings the
Lord has promised us. I love my family, and I am very grateful for this
opportunity to serve My Master. I know that if it weren't for the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ, we would we worthless, life would cease to have a purpose, and we
would be lost. I am grateful for the chance to partake to the Love of God, and
to share this love through my service to God's Children here in Tijuana.
rain and Hail at electric lake. Actually it has not been so rainy here, and
many people here have not seen hail or snow. It is good to here that the fish
are waiting for me to come back, then I can catch and eat all I want!
business did you have in Manti, Mom? I never recieved the 4 generation chart
from Livi, could you send it again? Keep working in the sprinklers, although
the weather is not too extreme here I can take the heat when I get back. I hope
everyone had a fun time at the Tobler reunion, and thank all of you for your
support and interest. WHAT! Everyone forgot it was Father's day??? The ward had
a nice activity a few weeks back to celebrate the occasion. Anyway, it is good
tpo here tha world is still turning there in Utah. And speaking of which, I
don't recognize the night sky in the summer! it's all shifted and new.
Except the bugs, they are still eating me, but at least I can sleep. Oh,
and I would LOVE to buy some peanut butter, but it is expensive and I don't
have much time to fiind it. Keep having a fun summer camping, sewing, reading,
and have fun in the sun!
monday we continued working with Alex, as he and his wife arrange the papers
for their wedding. It is so interesting teaching him, because often he responds
in english, because he spent most of his life just outside of San Diego. Then
we had a fun family home evening with the Valdez to strengthn the connection
there. Working with electronics in mexico as a missionary is alienish, and
there is never a simple or fast solution. One of our youth investigators
is still battling with attending church, hopefully this week we can clear up
some of his concerns. Our ward mission leader is fantastic, energetic, and
especially he is a spiritual fighter. He is overseeing the working the ward
very well, and thanks to him the recent converts are progressing substancially.
The bishop gave us a list of members to contact in a distant canyon in
our sector, and we have contacted many people there. we'll keep working on a
plan to get them to church, but I am excited to see new faces who want to hear
our messege. iqually we are working with the priesthood organizations to get
four men in particular to recieve the Higher Priesthood. Yesterday in our
mission work meeting in the stake center, we could see once again htat we are
not faltering in any point in particular, but that we can strive for better
results in all areas.
Friday I had the opportunity to meet my new mission president, Presidente
Garcia, From Hildago Mexico. I really did miss the Fourth of July traditions we
have, but I am excited to work and hasten the work with this man chosen by God
to lead me. He is very strong spiritually, and has a desire to become more
enfocused in the simple and clear doctrines and principles that are contained
in Preach My Gospel. Also, I hope everyone at home pays special attencion to
the letter the First Presidency sent out, that we can bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of every indiviual who has the chance to hear us.
Saterday we held an Open House, and this past month we were inviting people
like mad to attend. There were several members, even those less active
members, and we contacted five people who could accept our messege.. in the
neighboring sector. The reality is that it is not important, what is crucial is
that the work progresses en every end of the earth.I know that this is the
truth, and that we can continue to raise our voices with pride and share this
gospel with everyone. And as missionaries, we can only do this if we have
studied and understood the lessons contained within the scriptures. I know the
scriptures are true, and that Joshep smith was calle as a prophet of God. I
know the Book of Mormon can answer the questions of the soul, and that I cannot
deny the truthfulness of the word that I have been taught since my childhood.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and your love.
week is a good example of why it is important to have your key indicators in
check. We were blessed with multiple chances to invite people to follow
the example of Jesus Christ, and even those who did not immediately accept wish
to listen and learn more. One week ago, we had only three committed to baptism;
now, we have ten with opportunities more some more. La Norma is ten, so we are
going to fix our other datos primero. Although we have many baptismal
dates and people that we have in contact, those who are progressing (both
investigators as well as less active members) are minimizing.
is nice to have the help of the ward, even on weeks that are only
half-successful. On Tuesday evening, we met up with the priesthood
leaders to make a few visits. My companion and I went with the new bishop, but
we didn't find anyone. The presidenta of the relief society joined us on Wednesday
morning, but our first appointment needed a lot of clarification, and thus we
were choked for time to follow all of the planned visits. Mutual that night was
great, we had a good turn out from the young men's and had a few newer
investigators and reactivating members there. This week we have been fulfilling
assignment that the bishop has given us, and finding "lost members".
This helped us in many aspects, to encounter other less active members
and to work in different areas, to contact new people and advancing the work.
On Saturday one of our youth investigators who has a baptism drawing near
introduced us to the family of his girlfriend, and we are now beginning to work
with them. Yesterday the church attendance dropped, but various non-members
past p-day my companion and I went to a small zoo that they have, not too far
from the temple. Half the place was closed, but it was still pretty cool, I had
the opportunity to see what a xoloitzcuintles looks like. I got bit by a dog on
Thursday, it was stupid but I'll tell you about that next week. I am
grateful for this chance to be a missionary and I am here to help these people
be baptized and go to the temple, specifically the temple that is here in
want to talk briefly about he importance of meetings. This ward was very
fragile a few months back, and then they began to have all of their reunions
and presidency meeting and are bettering themselves. Now we have organization,
and we have a method to monitor our plans to bring to pass His marvelous Work.
The same applies to missionaries. In the junta that we had, almost a week
back, I had the chance to apply simple solutions to complicated situations. It
appears that we meet oft, but we can save our efforts for those things that
most require our attencion. Another way to keep to the fundamentals is to
change up the situation, or the area. Every time I have intercambios,(exchanges)
I enjoy the opportunity to work with a different elder, and many times in a
different sector. It just confirms that the church is organized and if
you have a strong trust in the Lord, you can serve him wherever you're
hope you have some summer plans as a family; many of my companions and members
ask me how it is to camp and hike in the spiritually strong state of Utah.
I enjoy the summers there, but the summer here is pretty smooth too!
you wish to send a package, here are a few Ideas. I like pretzels and swizzles.
I would ask for batteries, but the button on this flashlight is just about
shot. I bought a camera, but I need to resolve an issue with a memory card. My
companion is interested in singing a few hymns in English, and if you would
like you may include a hymnbook.
goes the outgoing and homecoming missionaries there in Utah? What are Nate Edmunds
(6th ward) and Jayne Starkie up to? If there is any other big news, keep
letting me know. Thanks!
here knows how to count! They think there are eight days in a week, fifteen
days in two weeks, and they refer to three days in the future as the day after
tomorrow! It just makes my mind hurt, correcting the math in my head in a
different language. That, and the neighbors like to watch the little mermaid at
night. Between that and the partying, I've used the earplugs about once a
week in order to sleep.
have a bishop! The previous first counselor was called as a bishop last week,
and we had a sacrament meeting attendance of 105 that day! The attendance dove
down a bit yesterday, but there were two new members in the congregation. This
past weekend Lourdes and Bernice fulfilled their desires to begin their path to
return to our Father in heaven. We had to dunk Lourdes nearly ten times
to do it, due to her phobia of water, but we did it! We need to find more
people to work with, we only have a handful of baptismal dates for July, but as
a ward we are increasing every aspect of the Work. We'll keep working hand in
hand with the ward mission leader.
breakfast is just the best! A great way to start the day, and begin your
labors. As for food, I tried water of sugarbeat, which is supposedly very good
for you... quien sabe (who knows). A week and a half ago, I had Tingas at the
activity for Father's Day.
Day! I love you Dad, and think of you often!
not enjoy the Little Mermaid
Atole, a nut- milk pudding/ Moyetes, beans and cheese on bread
member mentioned the other week that I look like the Crocodile Hunter.
That is really a question for John Taylor to decide
so to sum up these past three weeks it look something like this- Although the
ward is small and can't do everything, the are doing everything the can.
Only 2 of the 6 investigators whop were baptized in the last six months
are very active in the church. On the 17th we baptized Merary, and the
following Saturday we baptized Perla. We are working with many new people and
various part members and less active families. The Ward council although
incomplete is awesome. Last week I stood beside the temple, I'll send
pictures when I've worked that out. We have three baptisms coming up, and these
three are for sure going to become members. The activities for Districts and
zones have been temporarily cancelled, but we played dodge ball and basketball
for the last activity a few weeks back. My companion ripped his pants
playing volleyball at mutual the other night. We are progressing the work;
we only need to hasten the work just as the Lord has asked us. There was a dog
that could have been Bolt's Father, and nearly bit me! We found an elderly lady
who gave up believing that happiness exists, and we put forth our efforts to
help her out. She hasn't received us since. As missionaries, we are
completing the minimum- now let's surpass and break records! I gave away a
shirt to a less active, or he was less active. Our lider missional is so
smooth! One of the missionaries of the Ward plays League of legends, I
guess David and Jaren aren't too crazy. I swear he's a member- but there is no
record. Making cupcakes with recent converts is a blast!
past week we baptized Perla, the daughter of Marina. The mother was
baptized the weekend before I came here, and with the ward council we are
watching out for the six recent converts, two of them I had the blessed opportunity
to baptize. Between them and the work of reactivation, our numbers are a little
low, but we have four investigators who are progressing towards their baptismal
dates, including one for this upcoming week.
for food, there is nothing new. Tortas are amazing, I had chile relleno
otra vez este semana, [chile relleno again this week] and the Mexican sodas are
a little funky.
love you all, and wish to express my experiences more fully in the following
BAPTISM! That’s all we need! Merary
was baptized early Saturday morning, and even though her birthday/baptism party
went late into the night (and morning I suppose), she woke up on Sunday and was
confirmed! Merary is a little timid, but she understands and will learn more,
as long as she can study for her high school classes and read her scriptures. We
have another firm baptismal date for this upcoming Saturday, and Perla is super
excited for her special day.
On Tuesday we had a Zone
meeting, where I saw the Lady Jaguar Alumni Hermana Eye, and she is doing well.
She is in the district of the sister missionaries here in La Mesa. This
Zone is huge! It was a fantastic zone meeting where we learned a great deal
more of how we should work according to the needs of our investigators. To
add on to that, this past Friday we had a Capacitacion with Pres. Carreón, and
we were trained to Work with the spirit and to ask inspired questions. I
also learned this morning that we REALLY need to baptize more as a mission,
when the President directs that nobody is to have Zone activities until we are
fulfilling with the Mexico Area Plan and baptize weekly. Vamos a
exhortar, persuadir, y convencer mas!
[We will encourage, persuade, and convince more!]
I have no new comments on food,
just that it'll be interesting seeing all the food from Costco and the US name
brands again completely in English. Oh, I did get you Easter Package, Thank you
Millions! I feel like I'm set for a month or so.
Nothing happens in the work
until you find someone to talk to. We are focusing our efforts to follow
the rules with exactness, creating goals and initiating plans to increase the
work in this sector. Due to the menos [less] activity, we are working
with a nearly complete Ward Council, but every assigned person understands the importance
of his/her position in the Work of Salvation. We are still waiting for a
bishop, and according to my Companion Elder Torres this ward has been
bishopless for half a year. Hermano Contreras has been very effective in pressuring
the demands of the bishopric.
I hope Kenzie and the rest of
the choir has a marvelous time in Nueva York. FLYING IS INCREDIBLE! And
sorry Mom, school is basically over once you finish the AP Tests. Just convince
Cami to find a job or something. :P And I was thinking how convenient it is to
have the same person cut your hair regularly, If Dad or somebody sees Pam let
her know that she cuts hair better than anyone else in Mexcio. As for
this area I have taken it as Standard frontera, [border] that there is brief
talk of splitting our sector to create one more area for sister missionaries. The
language is going great, and Elder Torres is learning English rapidly too.
I just wish to add my testimony,
that this is a physical and progressing of the Lord, and that I love working in
these Latter-Days. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to have a
supportive family. I love every one of you.
Easter was nothing to grand for us,
everyday is an opportunity to share the message of the Resurrected Christ and
is Atonement for us. Through this sacrifice and his example, we have the
sacrament. Many times we teach non-progressing investigators and less
active members the importance of the sacrament, and how it is a renewal of our
baptismal covenants. Normally, we teach it exactly how Bro. John taught us in
keyboard is a little funky, but I'll finish my letter here.
finally was given planners this week; I had been using a planner from the last
transfer, almost three weeks back. The main offices are closer now, and I
am not sure why my District Leader and Zone Leaders there was such a delay.
But hey, I love the district meeting with this District Leader. He
teaches with the Spirit, and I am quickly able to absorb and apply the new
perspective or reinitiate my focus for the week on the message he teaches us.
This past week we applied a different way to show the Book of Mormon for
the first time, where we included a favorite passage within the book in the
for the language it has been fun! I am understanding everything, and I even
laugh at English when I ask myself, "Que significa lo-ve? oh it's love!"
or "lettuce go to the store- Vamos a la tienda... wait" or
"poder means to can, but not the bird tocan."
leer, asister-fam. history, Pray for the missionaries in our area.
only noteworthy thing about my companion that I have not mention yet is that he
has a hard time getting up in the mornings. He has three alarms, at 6:20,
6:25, and 6:30 and he still drags himself out of bed a little late. I am
wide a wake at the first tone, which is not how I was when I left home but it has
been a gift I learned in there MTC.
We have a baptism this weekend, the real
trick is after the baptism keeping the family active again, so that Merary can
enjoy the full blessings of the sacrament and of being a member. Marina
was a convert the weekend before I arrived here, and she is doing wonderfully.
She is going to the Temple this week to do Baptisms for the Dead.
we go again
rest of our investigators are slowly progressing, but the majority of our time
here is with the less active members. This week we have plans to find
I'll finish off the jerky Randy gave me (Thanks again), but before I go I want
to say that I am glad to have this chance to teach about the importance of the
simple things: Prayer, reading the scriptures, assisting church, and growing
into the gospel as a family. I have taught over and over again the lesson
of Family History, and the Family Home Evening we held last week was a blast.
I know that if every member who may be struggling or is passing through
their difficulties, they can endure to the end by doing these three things.
This is my brief testimony, until the next week.
Before I get to James’ letter let me apologize
for not keeping up with this blog more. I’m hoping to get one letter posted a
day in the order they were sent to us, so everyone can keep up with what has
been happening with our Elder in Tijuana.
Family, friends, missionaries and misioneros, queridos hermanos y amigos de
past two weeks have been busy. I was showing Elder Serpa every corner of
the sector, and we were just beginning to baptize again when I got called to
serve in Reforma with Elder Torres. Officially I only had two baptisms in
the ward Miramar, but I achieved much in the work of reactivation and brought
about many constructive changes in the ward council. I learned many ways
how I could apply the same work with a different perspective with my
unceasingly funny companion Elder Serpa. Neri, María y familia Ornelas tiene un
futuro de oportunidades espitiruales. (Neri,
Mary and family Ornelas have spiritual opportunities.)
This past week for our P-Day we
celebrated with Elder Cortes, my old Líder de Distrito, (district leader) who
returns home to his house tomorrow. He has been an amazing influence and
a great example of how one can follow the rules and find excellence in this
great work. We went to a nice barbecue joint in Independencia to eat
hamburgers. I gave him the Xolos playeta (shirt) that I bought a while back, because he needed to get one
before he returned honorably home to Morelos. Yesterday and this morning
Hma Nancy y Hmo Rafa wished us off as we left that corner of Tijuana.
Muchisimas gracias Elder Cortes, Éxito! Y gracias para la
influencia de los miembros y para el trabajo del Obispo Mora. (And thanks to the influence of the members
and the work of Bishop Mora.) I received a few gifts from the ward members,
regalé varios corbatas y cosas, (I gave
several ties and stuff) and I'll send a few pictures in the following
weeks. Hma Nancy dropped me off in her red Mystery Machine, and here I am with
yo escribo un parrafo describiendo las comidas nuevas y platos interesantes de
la semana. (Normally, I write one
paragraph describing new foods and interesting dishes of the week.) Well,
thus far in my mission I have eaten a lot of different kinds of food, both
familiar and unfamiliar. I did get the package from The Vinsons, thanks a ton
for the Jerky. Mis compañeros y Hmo Rafa les gustaron la carne seca de alce. (My
colleagues and Hmo Rafa liked the moose jerky.) I have already eaten the Elk
Jerky, and this week I will munch on the Deer Jerky (carne seca de venado) this
week. I know I am writing this late, sorry Mom, but if you wish to
include snacks like Rolos, Twizzlers, Pretzels, Hershey's, the Hostess Cupcake
or any chocolate peanut butter mix. I have eaten a lot of different kinds
of food here. Yo como comida mas picante de cualquier de mis compañeros.
Tengo chile en mi sangre! (I like spicy
food more than any of my classmates. I have chili in my blood!) From rice
with milk (arroz con leche), stuffed fried peppers (chile rellenos), new fruit
like guavas, rice like Grandma Tobler, Chicharón, and giant meatballs
(albondigas); there has been quite a variety.
Serpa was a hilarious companion. He can read English, so the majority of this
part will be in English, no se preocupe (do
not worry) Cami. Funny enough, he listened to music from "Two Steps
From Hell" as well before his mission, and went every Friday to the movies
with his dad. The theatres here are so much cheaper! He enjoys the
music from Zelda and other orchestral pieces, although he really only enjoys
practicing solo, not playing in a group.
week I shared multiple times with the members the importance of the Family
is my brief message of love and servitude, and I love this chance to serve in
the final harvest of the Lord, and for the unending prayers I receive from my