Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Aug 16 - The Best 2 Years

Wow, these last couple of days have just been a complete blur. It kind of feels like a dream. I keep imagining that someone is going to tell me, hey Elder Stout, you actually still have a year left. I can´t believe it. I honestly can´t. I am so excited yet so sad at the same time. Leaving behind the wonderful Mexican people and the friendships that I have made here is going to be one of the absolute hardest experiences of my entire life. I have honestly been more sad and anxious in these last couple days then I have in my whole life. I have been a nervous wreck, that is until my super spiritual final interview with President Mecham which I will talk about later on.

This week was one of the most intense and spiritual of my mission and my life. On wednesday we gave our final zone conference. I leearned so much from the missionaries that were there and from our beloved President and his wife. It was such a great way to end. We also had fun getting completely soaked (see the video on Sister Mecham´s facebook).

Friday, I had my chance to go to the temple before going home. I have never had the experience that I had this friday. I went pretty sick and I was worried that I would be numb to the impressions that would come to me and such things, but I had one of the most illuminating experiences of my life. I just felt so strongly that the Lord is happy with what I did. I know that I wasn´t perfect, but I just felt as if he accepted my offering, and that was such a strong spiritual confirmation.

On Saturday, after months of prayer and fasting, the Lord opened the windows of heaven and allowed Alexa and Zoe to be baptized. This has so much to do with an email that I sent about the 22nd of March. Words cannot describe the Spirit that was present in the room. It was the pinnacle of my entire mission, it was such a great way to end. I cant wait to talk about it in person, because an email does not do it justice, but it was incredible. I cried. President and Sister Mecham both had tears, and it was just so spiritual.

Which brings me to my final interview today. (obviously there were some other things, a cool farewell in church, a going away party, sick elders that had to be visited even though it took 5 hours), but nothing tops my interview. There are many sacred words that were shared there. But, there were a couple things he said looking back on my mission that really touched me and helped me understand how the Lord blessed me as I changed to His will. The part that struck me was he talked about how at times I had been looked at as an option to be his AP and he wondered why the Lord hadnt chosen me, he told me that as he sat in my baptismal service and saw me with the Lopez Morales and Olivares Puebla families, he knew exactly why I was needed to stay. He told me, Elder Stout, your mission was completely worth it.

I am so thankful fo rthe calling I recieved to serve among the people of Mexico City. I am thankful for the prayers and support of family and friends at home. I am thankful fo rthe gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that He allowed me to be His representative and for all the blessings He gave me to be able to bring to pass His work. I know that this church is His. I know that this gospel is the single most important thing in our lives. God lives and answers our prayers. He answered the prayer fo a 14 year old boy about 2 centuries ago, and that has changed the face of history. I know that Joseph Smith restored the church,a nd that he was called of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is 100% the word of God. I know that it testifies of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of God and that he gives us the chance to always get better and improve. These things I know and testify as a representative and missionary of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and I do so in His name. Amen.

Elder Stout

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Aug 9 - WOW

Hey all! Well I cant believe that its getting so close... On a side note I forgot my notebook today so the fun scripture chain will be taking a break! But, honestly, these two years have been the fastest of my life to think that in 10 short days it is over...But, I am working up til the last day so I am not going to get caught up on a farewell to the mission letter til next week!:)

This week went really well for us, it was by far the fastest week of my entire mission. What a crazy way to end it. A true week of miracles, with finding the chosen that the Lord has placed before us, and I feel really good about how I am leaving the area for Elder McClure and his new comp.

On Wednesday we got to give a zone training to the zone, and I kind of took it as my farewell because its one of the last training opportunities I will have. I just shared my feelings about the importance of obedience to the missionaries. ONe thing I am tired of is that we always find out about bad things that a missionary has done once he is out of our zone, and we have no way to help him, so I talked about the importance of solving problems in the moment, and truly loving our companions enough to help them. I got really emotional as I shared some personal stories from the mission. I have loved my comps as a zone leader because it has been so easy to work with them, but the hard comps that I had, the times where I just wanted to give up. That is when I grew as a person, and as a disciple.

We got to spend some serious time learning from President Mecham this week. I love him so much, his spirituality is just contagious to everyone. We had some fun calls from him this week that led to more operations haha so fun! We got to learn from him about the reaching power fo the atonement, and got to have a special interview with him yesterday and we counseled about some of the problems in our zone. I am just preparing now spiritually so that I can percieve all of the spiritual promptings that come in my finaly interview wiht him next week.

Until then,

Elder Stout

Friday, August 5, 2016

Aug 2 - No time, round two

Hey all, so my scripture sums up the day!

"I had many things to write, but I will not with ink andpen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speakface to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greetthe friends by name."

It is found in 3rd John 1:13-14. And its perfect because well I am almost out of time for our p-day becausewe went souvenier? shopping! Picture included on how much we bought between those of us that went! But, I now have everything I need to go home!

Okay quick rundown on the week, so this week was full of what Elder McClure and I call special operations where we have to go help people in the zone! I wont have time to talk about each one specifically but this week we undertook: Operation Cry Baby, Operation Dink-a-Dink, and Operation Gallo! There names just came spur of the moment and have nothing to do with what was going on, but we had a pretty cool opportunity to help out some missionaries going through tough times for one reason or another. That is my facorite thing about the assignemnt that I have is the opportunity to see missionaries change and to see them become better more Christ-like people, and I am so thankful for all the leaders that I have had, who have helped me do the same things!

Big update from the week, it looks like all of the prayers have paid off and that Adan has finally given permission for Alexa and Zoe to be baptized. Keep praying for them so everything goes well, but things are looking really good! They also got a nice care package from the Stout family which they absolutely loved!!:) Sister Mecham loved the shirts that were sent as well, and me and my comp enjoyed all the candy (which is already gone!) Also, Mary Morales added you on facebook mom and wants you to accept her, her name is like Mery Moxa or somethign a little different like that!

I almost forgot too that on Wednesday we gave a special training about missionary work to an EFY session! Half the mission was there to help out, but Elder McClure and I got to talk for 40 minutes to all of the youth. It was a spiritual experience to see the power fo the rising generation!

Well, thats all this week, CON AMOR,

Elder Stout

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 26 - Elder McClure!

Hey all!

Well the big news is that I got so blessed with my last companion! My new comp is Elder McClure from Denver Colorado. He has 3months less than me in the mission. But, the super cool thing is that when I was in the branch of Topilejo he was right next to me in the branch of Ajusco. We got to know each other really well talking about all of the trials of being in hard areas, and I always knew that he was going to be a zone leader, and every time there were changes, I was just waiting for him to be pulled up, and always hoping that wed get the opportunity to be comps. Well, last Monday when they read off our changes I got the very pleasant suprise of seeing my buddy Elder McClure´s name. Wow,what a blessing! I am so excited to be able to work with him my last few weeks in the mission!

well i am really sorry for a couple things; first of all because this is going to be a super short email because we just got a call that there is a problem in our zone that we have to go fix today; so happy pday!! aLso; this keyboard has like a broken shift key i think so sometiMes The capitaLs come through weird or the symbols so just live witH it!:)

this week was quite the week of runninG aroUNd; wE had a toN of succesS; we had a lot that we had to do for it being the first weeK of the chaNGes aND eVerythiNG buT we stIll were ablE to teacH (i think) the mOst lessONS that i have taught iN my entire missiON; every night we got back to the house; and we wOuld just be complEtely ExhAustED: but it feels rEaLlY good to be worKinG tHiS hard; i waNT tO fiNisH my missiOn wOrkING super suPER HaRD, aND This weeK was a REaLly good sTArt to it!

WELL I HAVE tO rUN! MaN, THIS KEYboard is reAlly bothering me! BuT tHAnks for everything thaT you guys do for me!

Elder STout

July 18 - See ya later Elder Crandall

Hey all!

So first of all the scripture of the week is found in Revlation 3:11 and says,
´´Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, 
that no man take thy crown.´´

Today is the farewell of Elder Crandall. I can´t believe how fast it came! Especially these last few weeks have been just an absolute blur! Wow, he is such a great missionary, I was so happy to be with him his last 12 weeks because I learned so much of how a missionary should finish their mission. He finished sprinting through the finish line!

As I said this week was honestly just a blur, and even more because it was only 6 days! I will get my new companion today in the afternoon, and I am excited to meet him and see who will be...the last! Please be praying for him this week because he is going to need to learn the area super fast! He is only going ot have 4.5 weeks so we will see how it will go!

The big updates on our investigators is that they are all hitting walls of trial right now! We have like 6 really really good investigators right now. Valeria is still progressing well towards her baptismal date, but she is struggling to just but behind her some bad habits, and its really hard to see her use her agency in this way, but I have a lot of hope that she will be ready by her date! Jorge and Jose Alfredo pretty much have the same problem! They are both progressing like super super good, but neither one of them feels quite ready for baptism yet, they both feel like they need to know more. This is one of the hardest things that I have found on my mission. I know that this is an important, even life changing desicion, but I just dont understand how anyone can procrastinate it! I feel like it has so much to do with Boyd K. Packer´s famous quote on how understanding the doctrine can change our behavior, because I feel like if I were to understand baptism truly (and I weren´t a member) I would want to do it the frist chance that I could because it just raises us up to a new level of spiritual progression. We dont have to be perfect, and we dont have to know everything. We just have to be repentant and willing to try our best afterwards. It is all so much easier after, especially on a standpoint of being perfect and knowing a lot. Then, Ema, Cristian and Ruperto are all having the opposite problem, they love the gospel, they want to be baptized so bad but everytime that Sunday rolls around their seats are empty. Every week when we talk to them, they say I will be there next week for sure, and then they aren´t! Another frustrating thing about agency! But, I know they will come around as well.
The pictures are: Cristian cut my hair and put so much gel in it that I looked like a hen! But after a shower it came down. Pictures with Ema Cristian and all of their extended family who have all started to listen to us! A picture of like half our zone. And 2 of the 11 free tacos that some random nice stranger bought us in the street! (they were so good!!)

Paz, amor, y tranquilidad desde Valle de Luces,

Elder Stout

July 12 - Easy come, Easy go

Hey all!

Well, the first big news is that we had special changes twice since I last wrote you! We started training ELder Gamiño on Wednesday, and it was awesome! But, he was a temporary missionary while he waited for his visa to go serve his mission in Brazil and it got here on Friday so yesterday we dropped him off with President to go down to his mission, but it was fun training for those 4 days haha.

So to keep the scriptures going, this week we take a look into the bible in 2 John 1:12 

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write 
with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speakface to face, that our joy may be full.

I hopethat you are enjoying this new chain of scriptures!

As the scripture says, well not a lot happened this week actually so this will be a short email. I felt like this was liek the fastest week of my entire mission, so that was pretty scary!

I am super sad that Elder Gamiño is gone! we got along super well, we have a lot of the same likes, and it was just really fun being in a trio with him! The work has gotten a little bit harder because we are in charge of the entire ward now, and President made it sound like its pretty unlikely that new missionaries come in next week in the changes so we will see how it goes! But, we have two new super good investigators from their side! We have started teaching Jose Alfredo who is 14 years old and his older brother was a less active member, we havent been with him much, so I will give more updates in the coming weeks! Also, we started teaching Ruperto who is one of the elect if I have ever seen one. He has told us since the first lesson that he knows that the Book Of Mormon is true, and that he wants to be baptized, it honestly almost seems too good to be true!

Last week we did intercambios with Estrella and Elder Gamiño and I worked with Elder Bojorquez, it was fun being with him again and seeing how much he has been progressing recently! He is doing awesome right now! I am starting to get ready for changes, this will be a crazy week getting to know the new area and then with Elder Crandall going home next week! So next week I will have a new companion, be starting my 6th change in Churubusco, and my pday willl be Monday! Have an amazing week!

Elder Stout