Monday, October 26, 2015

Oct 26 - Hurricane???


So apparently it sounds like there was a hurricane?? I don’t know, everyone said something about it, but we never hear anything here haha. We did have a couple days where it was kind of windy, and the rain has carried on for a little more time than usual, but I had no clue that we were having a hurricane here in Mexico! Thanks for filling me in haha.

This week was a great week! Last Monday we had an awesome district meeting focused all on obedience, and it helped the district get super excited to do it. As a group we set a bunch of goals so that we can truly get better in that. Then, I watched as our whole district followed through this week! I watched as we not only became more obedient but as our whole attitude towards the importance of obedience shifted! It was super cool!!

So our investigator that is doing the best right now is Melanie Villanueava that we started teaching last week. She is super smart and just wants to follow through with everything that we teach which is awesome! She is super excited to be able to get baptized soon, and last night even asked me if I would do it! But we are going to try and get her dad worthy before her baptism (if possible) so that he can do it!

We had a bunch of success finding new investigators again this week! We found an awesome family, the Ramierez Family that are the parents and their 5 kids. We had a super spiritual lesson with them and they are just super ready for the gospel, they have passed through a ton of difficulties and they have had a ton of bad experiences with other religions but just from the beginning we have had a super cool connection with them. We are super excited to keep working with them.

Also this week I had a super cool intercambio with our zone leader Elder Crockett, he is a super cool guy and it was good to get to know him better! He is such an awesome missionary too who has so much enthusiasm for the work, I learned a lot from him example about how we can just always be super excited and give it our all!! I am going to work hard on applying those things that I learned from him this week!!

Well, that’s all from Topilejo this week folks,

Elder Stout

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oct 19 - Winter in Topilejo!

Hey all,

So first of all, winter has arrived to Topilejo! Oh my gosh it is so cold!!! One member told us that it hasn’t gotten above 45 yet this week, we are just freezing to death, but its way better than the heat that I was in 6 months ago in Iztapalapa! But seriously we are all bundled up every day. On top of all that, for some reason the rainy season that was supposed to end in September decided to come back and so that made the cold a little bit worse. But, its only gonna get colder so woohoo!

So, after all that happened with the health of Elder Riggs, well as far as I know he is still here in the mission. We went down to the offices on Wednesday and he right now is in a trio with the assistants so that he can go to the hospital whenever he needs to for checkups and stuff like that, and its still not a 100% sure if he is going to stick it out here or not, but the odds are looking a lot better than they were a week ago. This Wednesday I received my new comp, Elder Bojorquez! He has about 4 months in the mission, he got here on change after Elder Hilario, and he actually started in the district right next to me in Iztapalapa so I already knew him! He is super awesome, he is from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, and is a convert of only a year and a half and the only member of his family. He has a super strong testimony and i am super pumped to work with him!

This week we had a lot of success finding new investigators again. We did a ton of contacting because Elder Bojorquez loves to do it, which is super awesome because it has been a long time since I have been with a comp that likes to contact. So, we found some new people. The two coolest ones that we found were two part member families. First of all, there’s this guy named Carols Orozco who is less active and we just found out that he has cancer, so we went to visit him and see if there was anything that we could do to help him, and while we did that we got to know his wife Edith Peña and she is super awesome!! She accepted baptism with a date in the very first lesson, and seems super excited. Her husband is an amazing man too with a strong testimony that really wants to come back to the church.

After that, we were contacting this week and we found a man crying on the side of the road and it turned out to be Jose Luis Villanueava who is another less active, he has made some bad decisions recently and opened up for help. We ended up going to his house and teaching his family and his daughter has also accepted a baptismal date. So, we are loving it right now up here!

This last week we had our quarterly interviews with President Meacham and I had an awesome one. We talked for a long time about the importance of revelation and how we truly need to do all that we can to serve the Lord because this is literally our only shot to do it. I just love talking to him because he shares my excitement for missionary work, and sometimes it just makes me really sad that not all missionaries can feel this same way and love the work. But, I know that President Meacham will be able to help all the missionaries in our mission to increase their faith, obedience, and diligence!

Well, I hope that you have a great week!
Elder Stout

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Oct 12 - a slow week


So I am getting really tired of saying this, but once again, not a lot happened this week because my comp was sick all week again! Bleh, its super hard sometimes. I just want to be out working and helping people, and the Lord keeps sending me challenges like this. I know that my comp has nothing to do with it, and that it’s not his fault, but I just want to be able to have a week again where I can finish up and be like Yeah, right on! I feel like I used every minute to the max this week! But, I just really haven’t felt that way for a while.

I mean literally nothing happened this week, we weren’t even able to go to church yesterday but the other elders brought us the sacrament and everything. I was able to read a ton of conference talks and learn some pretty awesome things! I have learned to love some old talks by President James E Faust, they are awesome! We had the cool experience of being able to go and meet with President this week to talk about my companion’s health and I had an awesome talk with Sister Meacham, she is an awesome lady, and super spiritual. But, she’s also super funny haha she like didn’t sugar coat anything about the mission, it was more of like what is that elder thinking or we are having problems with this and stuff like that, but it was honestly a pretty fun couple hours just to chat with her, and here all about her family and stuff like that. I really love President and Sister Meacham! I know they were called of God to be my mission president and mission president’s wife! It was really cool to receive a super strong testimony of that this week.

I also had multiple opportunities to share with Elder Riggs my testimony and I really realized for the first time in my mission, how much it has really grown in one year. I truly know that God has a plan for every single one of us. I know that He loves us. I feel His love every day. I know that even though we are small and insignificant compared to Him that He cares about every single one of us individually. I know that prayer is a direct connection to our Heavenly Father, and that He answers us! I know that. I know that we are and will always be in debt to Him and our Savior, Jesus Christ and that we need to put forth our best effort every day to be able to try and pay it all back. That is my mission in life, to deserve the Atonement. I have so many other things that I have come to know in my life, but all in all, I know that this is the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that true happiness comes through this and only this.

Have a great week all!
Elder Stout

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oct 5 - General Conference aka Christmas

Hey all!! So this was a great week!

So first of all an introduction to my new comp! It is Elder Jay Riggs from Pleasant Grove Utah! He just barely got here to the mission, so I am here in Topilejo with a greenie, but he is super awesome, we get along really well and I am excited to have this opportunity to be with him! He doesn’t speak like any Spanish so that has been something that I have had to get used to, but he has gotten a ton better in just a week, so I am super pumped to see what we are going to be able to do here together!

This week there wasn’t a ton to report. A lot of showing Elder Riggs the area and training him too. It’s a lot different to have a greenie that doesn’t speak Spanish, it’s like another cool add on of a challenge, but through the help of the Spirit, his progress is going to be super-fast! We didn’t have a ton of progress with the people we are teaching this week which is a bummer. I am teaching more investigators than I have in my whole mission right now, but no one is progressing very well which is super frustrating because in other areas it’s like I didn’t have very many, but they were all doing well so it kind of made up for it which is hard! It’s frustrating, but I was talking to one of the other elders from another branch, and he told me that in our areas sometimes it’s just like that, and that’s when we really learn a lot about ourselves, and the Lord and grow a lot as people so that was super cool!

Then we had an awesome general conference this weekend! I loved Elder Hales talk! I loved Elder Lawrence’s talk! I loved Thomas S Monson’s Talk! I loved Carole M Stephens talk! I loved Vern G Keetch’s talk! I loved Neil L Andersons talk! And I loved Elder Stanfil’s talk!! Haha I loved conference as a whole!!! Oh and Elder Durrant’s talk too. A lot of really cool talks on obedience, faith and how we can grow them both in our lives. I really hope to be able to apply these things to my own life, and put a special focus in helping all of the people that I am teaching to apply these inspired words to their lives as well!

Elder Stout