Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pre-Christmas Photos

Just photos this week.  We get to Skype with him on Christmas Eve!  Can't wait.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Christmas and First baptism!

Merry Christmas everybody!

We won't have a p day really next week for email or anything because our pday got switched to Christmas, so I will just talk to you guys on Skype! So for that I will be going to an internet cafe and it will be on the 24th because we have not been able to find anywhere that is open on the actual Christmas day! I have no idea exactly how it will work or anything, but we are planning on like early afternoon your time like 12:30ish?? I don't know but I hope that will work!! I will have to figure out everything as well! I have 40 minutes to talk so that will be awesome! I can't wait! Also, the package came in a while ago, but because of changes last week no one got mail delivered but they told me it was there, so I should get it tonight! Super excited!! Also, y'all have something coming your way so be on the lookout!

So this week absolutely flew by!I can not believe that I am sitting here right now again, I was like just here! Boom suddenly it is Monday again! We had an incredible week, like our best one yet! There was some holiday this week for the Virgin Guadalupe and a lot of people get really drunk so we had to be in our house really early too of the days and it was still like one of our most successful weeks!
So I got to baptize someone this week! His name is Rene Cayetano Diaz! He was an investigator in the ward just over from us, and we were with him his sister and his brother and the elders that taught them because my comp had to do their baptismal interviews and I ended up being the person to baptize him, which was really really cool! i was able to memorize the prayer and do it right the first time and everything! He is an awesome kid though, and it was such a cool opportunity, Elder Neyra one of the two elders that taught him is awesome, he is like my best friend in our mission so far, we are from the same generation too!

So for our investigators Azucena is still preparing for her baptism either the last week of December or the first week of January and she is golden, she loves learning about the gospel and everything! Out other investigators we haven't been able to meet with much but Maria de Jesus is progressing, but won't go to church! Then we have a new 14 year old girl named Valeria who is the cousin of the whole family Alquicira so in our first lesson she gave an awesome prayer because of how much she has been surrounded by the church. Also, the Alquicira Fiuentes family gave us those snowmen and a bunch of candy when we ate there!

We did a really cool activity on Saturday where all the Elders that meet in our ward got together at this really central part of our town and we all sang Christmas carols, and then in between they had a screen playing church Christmas videos while we went out and contacted, and I contacted the most people, I contacted 29 people by myself it was awesome! I am so excited for Christmas!! I love and miss you'll a ton, and hope all is well!!!!

Elder Stout

He answered a few questions for us.  Here are some excerpts from his email to the family:

I hope everybody's health picks up in the ward, that is really hard to hear!! I will pray for them all this week for sure, send them my love!!

Mexican Christmas traditions are pretty much American ones, the one that is different that I have seen so far is that they use pinatas here for Christmas too!! Hahaaha they also eat corn for Christmas because apparently it is like really fancy! My street that I live on is Calle Laurel, one chapel is on 5 de Mayo and the other is on Rosal! (I found them all on maps.google.com)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Almost Christmas

Hey yall! How is it going??

Work has been awesome here this last week! Thought you all should know that I got sick for my first time last Tuesday! But I took some of the pills Mom gave me and lets just say that they worked too well....haha then on Wednesday I had to go into immigration in order to renew my visa, so I guess I am legal now! It was a super long and boring trip, but I got to see a lot more of the city! I decided I am going to do what Andrew does and send home one interesting fact a week about the place so this week it is that like all of the houses have big pipes or other things sticking out of them down here because if the house is unfinished then they don't have to pay property tax! Last night we had the coolest opportunity to go to the Vistitor's Center next to the temple and it was so cool! We took two future investigators and the whole ward rented out two buses to go, they have like all these Christmas lights set up everywhere and it was just such a cool opportunity to go and see it all! I loved it! Also, tomorrow are changes and me and my companion are both staying in San Pedro Martir 1bis, and my companion is getting made district leader! The only people leaving from our district are Elder Batt, the old district leader, and Elder Quinn the old zone leader, I am going to miss them a ton, they were such great examples of leaders, and they helped me so much!
Our investigators this week was kind of a more down week. Maria and Carlos still can't meet with us because of their work in December and they weren't even at church yesterday. Maria de Jesus is progressing but has no desire to go to church which is really hard! We had two new investigators this week Condilo and Gloria who are married and are like 60 years old but we had two lessons with them but they said they believe in the Book of Mormon but are too involved in their other church to leave so that was a bummer big time. Then Azusena is progressing great and just doing awesome and should be ready to get baptized on January 3rd so fingers crossed!!
I love you all and hope it has been going great!!

Elder Stout

He sent us a few additional answers to questions that I thought I would share here:

Lord really blessed us this week while we were looking for a house and turns out we were on a wrong street but we went up to the house and it turned out to e a menos activo that no one knew existed so now we can talk to here more! 

Church was a lot better this week, I didn't have such a hard time and we talked about familysearch.org so it reminded me of all the times dad would like show me and Sam what he was doing at work! 


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy December

Hey!! Can't believe in just a few weeks I get to talk to you!!! You asked for pictures of my apartment so I included them, and I am so lucky that I have been uploading pictures to dropbox, because last night I accidentally deleted all my photos, apparently that's what format memory card means! But they are all on drop box minus like 6 so I will just re-download them! Phew!!! Also, make sure to ask me if you have any questions on photos that I send because I am sure at times they are pretty random!

Sounds like you all had an awesome thanksgiving! I had a good one too! I went on splits with our district leader Elder Batt and we pigged out that night on root beer and kettle chips that his family had sent him in the care package!

This turned out to be a lot slower of a week than we had expected because like no one was home! Like literally over 50% of our appointments fell through! It was a huge bummer! But, I did have two cool lessons this week where the spirit just totally took over! First we were teaching Azusena about the last half of the plan of salvation, and I just was able to really powerfully testify about the Spirit World and the lower kingdoms about how God doesn't really punish us but it's a punishment we inflict on ourselves, because we know we didn't realize our potential, which just really hit her, and she started like crying during the prayer because of the spirit, and it was really cool, because we never take that approach, but I felt like we should! Then we were teaching Javier the recent convert, and we were talking about like reading the scriptures and praying. Javier really wants to serve a mission in a couple years, and I had a really cool experience where I felt like I was giving Sam all of the advice that I want to as his brother about what he should do before a mission, and I honestly felt like I was talking to Sam, it was so cool, but I felt the spirit prompt me to promise him that if he did these things every day he would be one of the most powerful missionaries ever and we were all just kind of like woah, because we felt the spirit really strong then!

Only other thing this week was my interview with Mission President! We talked about my goals and he loved my idea to have a checklist for every investigator with the baptismal questions and the qualifications for baptism in D and C 20 37, and mark them off when we teach them that thing so they can truly be ready for baptism! I just told him I want to get better at lesson planning to be able to really help the person we are teaching! Cool thing, he asked me if we spoke Spanish at home! So, I guess it really is coming along!

Last thing, everyone needs to go watch He is the Gift! And everyone needs to go to YouTube next Sunday!! This video is huge, it has such a cool powerful message, and it is already helping us so much down here!! I love you all and will talk soon!!

Elder Stout

A few other things he sent to just the fam...

Scripture of the week is Isaiah 1:18

Mission president is so awesome! He is just straight business and he like pumps us all up! Too bad we will be getting a new mission president in July! That'll be weird!

We also asked him to send pictures of his apartment.  He delivered...see below.  Fun to see what his living arrangements are like.