Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30 - A week with President!

Hey all!
Well it sounds like you all had a great thanksgiving week! Just wanted to send another shout out and let you all know how very thankful I am for you that you all support me here in my mission, and that I love you so much!

This week we had three cool experiences. First of all on Tuesday Socorro got baptized! It was an awesome experience, it was kind of a low key baptism because well it was a Tuesday and so like literally no one could come, but she invited a ton of family and friends and it worked out super well. They all felt the spirit super strong, and we all did too. Also, President Mecham and Sister Mecham both came to this baptism and it was the first time they have come in my whole mission. There, like always seems to happen in Topilejo, were some pretty cringe worthy moments as well. First of all, the 1st counselor of the branch presidency did the ordinance and well he told us that he had literally baptized half of the branch so we weren’t too worried, until we opened up the doors for the baptism and it looked more like they were going to dance the salsa or get baptized Alma style (see Mosiah 18 23) we had to help him out for like 2 minutes to get the hands and everything right, so that was kind of embarrassing. Then, Socorro gave a very powerful testimony. But, the thing is she is a nurse so she has a different vocab than we have, and that added to the fact that her strongest testimony was of the law of chastity left my face pretty red after her testimony… But, the only thing that matters is that it was a spiritual experience for her and for her family members as well!

Second, on Friday we had a zone conference that was super cool! We talked a lot about love, the importance of the members, the Lords elect servants and our ability to open our mouth and teach everyone! I left super excited to just get to work and get it done!

Thirdly, this Saturday we had a zone attack in Topilejo. It’s something that we have been planning for a while that was President Mecham’s idea. The branch/ward puts together a list of all the people that they would like to visit and then all of the missionaries from the whole zone go to that area and we do divisions with the members of the ward/branch. So on Saturday it was our turn and it was super cool! We didn’t have enough members so I ended up going with President and Sister Mecham and it was incredible to see how President expressed his love to people that he had literally never met. We helped some less actives express why they aren’t coming to church anymore and we even found some new investigators together, it was super cool to be able to work with them.

Bonus: Yesterday we had the zone attack in San Pedro 1, my old area. So, I got to go down and I got put in a group with Estefan y Gaspar Lino from one of my favorite families ever. We also went and visited Alicia Garcia who sadly has fallen away recently because she started working on Sundays but it was good to be able to go and relive her baptism and try to encourage her to come back, it was a pretty incredible week!

Elder Stout

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nov 23 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey all,

Wow I honestly didn’t even realize that it was Thanksgiving this week until you all wrote me about it. So I guess Happy Thanksgiving! I am so very thankful for every one of you. I am so thankful for the support that you are giving me to help me be a missionary, and that you are all putting up with me being gone for 2 long years. I am so thankful for the part of my life that every single one of you were (especially my family) in helping me become the person that I am today. I am also so thankful that I have been called to be the Lords missionary here and that I have this great opportunity to serve him and the people here. I am so thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ, and his gospel, and that it was restored to this Earth. I am thankful to be alive and well, and to be able to spread happiness to all people!

So, I don’t have a ton of time today not going to lie, because a few weeks ago President changed one of our rules and now we have free reign to go anywhere in the mission without permission. So, today we headed down to Xochimilco and it was a blast but the bus came back super slow so I won’t be able to have all of the time that I would like to write.

So, the really cool experiences that we had this week were first with Socorro. We had a super cool lesson with her where she just bore super strong testimony of all of the things that we have taught her. She has honestly progressed like no other investigator. It has been so awesome to see, it’s just been easy we literally just have to explain something to her and it all goes over super well!

The other one was with the family Orozco Peña. I don’t know exactly what it was. But, while we were there we just started talking to them about all of the things they have learned and when they commented to us that they talk about all of these things after we go, a super strong spirit filled the air that they are truly applying the things that we are teaching them. That is all we want as missionaries that our message inspires people to act in their lives!

Well, it was a super successful week! I hope to have more next week!

Elder Stout

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16 - Eating Habaneros!

Hey all!

Well first of all what a bummer that it sounds like everyone was sick this last week, especially well right now! Bleh that’s the worst!! Actually it’s kind of funny because I was super sick last week too! But I will get to that later on.

So we had a pretty interesting Monday night last week. So Elder Perez was packing up all of his stuff and we were helping him, and then he reminded me that I had made him a bet that if he woke up on time every day that when one of us left we would eat a chile habanero (the hottest one here in Mexico) haha I wasn’t so glad that he remembered. But, a promise is a promise, and a deal is a deal and so we did it! We also roped in the Elder Bojorquez and Elder Bautista too, and it was actually super funny. I have a great video to show you guys in when I get home of the whole event, haha but for now pictures will do. But it was literally the hottest thing that I have ever eaten in my entire life! Wow, but now like nothing is hot so that’s pretty cool.

Work wise we had a great week. Socorro is still progressing strong and we might try to change her baptismal date because it’s going so well. She also introduced us to her friend Salome who is now a new investigator and she is also super awesome and super chosen! She lost her legs about a year ago so the gospel supplies her with a ton of hope! We have seen a lot of help from the branch to like help her to get to church and stuff like that because well she is in a wheel chair, but its gone super well and we are going to try and put a baptismal date with her this week.

Also, last night we found like two college aged kids named Andrea and Gerardo. They have A TON of questions and a ton of weird notions. Like to quote one that they told us, Gerardo said I think that the only real bible is nature man. Haha he reminds me of the Volkswagen bus from Cars. But they are super awesome and they are friends with Angel Linares from the branch so he has been helping us out as well.

So on Thursday this week we were doing our weekly planning and I just started to feel awful. Needless to say that I spent the rest of the day throwing up into a bucket so that was no fun! But at least it passed by in just one day. I still don’t feel 100% but little by little. The one bad part was that we had a leadership training from President on Friday but I still didn’t feel great so I had a hard time paying attention and learning. That was rough because he always gives such great trainings that I am usually hooked on every word, but this week I can only remember what I have in my notes.

Well, I think that’s a wrap this week from Topilejo! Have a great week!

Elder Stout

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nov 9 - Staying in Topi!

Hey all!
Well the big news is that with the changes that we got last night, I am going to be here in Topi for 6 more weeks with Elder Bojorquez so no changes on our side. In the district Elder Perez is heading out which is a bummer because he was only here 6 weeks and he was always here to lighten the mood so we will see who the Lord sends with Elder Bautista for these next 6 weeks!

The other big thing that happened this week was Melany’s baptism! The super cool thing that happened with all of that is that Elder Hamilton baptized her dad while he was here in Topi and when it came up that her dad wasn’t going to be able to baptize her we thought about how cool it would be to have Elder Hamilton come and do the baptism. So, on his last Saturday here in the mission he got to come and baptize Melany! It was a super cool baptismal service, we had a ton of less active members there and they all told us that it helped them to remember their own baptisms which is kind of the whole point! haha so that was super cool! A bunch of them were crying especially Jose Luis, Melany’s dad and we just all felt the spirit super strong.

Then on Sunday Melany asked me to do the confirmation so that was a super cool experience. Also on Sunday, the three people who were supposed to give talks all didn’t show up. So last second Elder Bojorquez, Elder Perez and I all had to speak. This was honestly the first time I have given a talk completely unprepared but it was a super cool topic about covenants and their importance in our lives. I literally had the spirit teaching me as I was up in front giving the talk about how our covenants should literally be our guide and motivation behind everything that we do, so that was a cool experience!!

We are still working hard with the other people that we have too! Socorro looks like she is progressing the best here in Topilejo. She came to church again yesterday and is loving the gospel! She told us yesterday, I have been to a lot of different churches and I have left a lot of them feeling good, but never as good as I feel when I leave this church. I know that there is something different here. What a wonderful sentence to hear from someone to know that the spirit is truly changing their heart and opening their spiritual eyes!

Well I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Stout

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nov 2 - Dia de Los Muertos

Hey all!!
This was a pretty good last week! It actually went flying by, so it will be kind of hard to remember the important things that happened but I will do my best! First of all, the biggest thing this last week was that we passed day of the dead here and we all survived. Up here in Topilejo it was actually a ton more chill than we all thought it would be. It was actually just like the states, they all just literally trick or treating and so it was just all a ton of little kids. not going to lie, being up in a small country mountain town we were all kind of hoping to see some like black magic or something, but nope it was all super calm.

This week was a little bit of a harder week work wise. It just seemed like we were walking a ton, but we also got some super good investigators this week. One was an hermana named Socorro. When I was intercambios with Elder Crockett she was outside laying cement and we were like what the heck is an old woman doing laying her own cement, haha so we ran over and we helped her out for a while, so she accepted that we would come by to teach her. So this week we went by twice and she just fell in love with the gospel she already has a date to be baptized and is progressing super well. She came to the chapel yesterday and even got up to bear her testimony on her very first Sunday!! Wow, that was incredible!

Also, we found a young man named Alejandro. His girlfriend is a member in San Pedro, small word! Haha but, he already has a super strong testimony of the book of Mormon from what she has told him, and his first question was just kind of like, so when can I get baptized! Wow, is the Lord putting people in our path or what??

The district is going great. I had intercambios with Elder Bautista this week so I got to go to the scenic Topilejo 2 area so I got a ton of cool pics up there! As you can see we also celebrated Halloween here! Hahaha nope just the pictures this year, but next year yes we will.

The investigators we have already have are progressing well but for some reason the family Ramierez just fell off the map and we have like no idea what happened to them so that was a huge bummer. But Melanie is still getting ready to be baptized. Her dad decided he would rather her be baptized sooner instead of waiting until he can do it. So we will see what ends up happening!

Next weeks is changes and for some reason the whole district thinks that I am going to be heading out. I really hope not but we will see! I am going to everything that I can to be able to get ready for the changes if we have them and leave a super strong area if needs be!

Well, hope y’all have a great week,

Elder Stout