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

July 5 - Happy July

Hey all!!

Well, I am going to try to make this fast because we have a crazy half p day today because of...well this is my first announcemtne, tomorrow we are going to have special changes and...I am going to be training!!!:) Haha I am still going to be here with Elder Crandall and everything but Elder Da Silva from the other side of the ward has finished his mission, and they are sending his companion, Elder Gamiño to finish his training with us so we will be in a trio for these next two weeks, i am super excited!!

The big thing from my last week were our interviews with President. It involved Eldre Crandall and I running around all day because we were in charge of the interviews from the whole zone and we just had a lot of chores we had to do the whole day. But, I was the last interview and it was all worth it for what President said to me! We had a super spiritual interview about what the Lord wants of me these last 6 weeks. I have never felt an approval stronger from the Spirit than when President said, ´´Elder Stout, if you just keep doing exactly what you are doing, you will be able to walk onto the plane and feel the approval of our Lord Jesus Christ because you have faithfully and dutifully served Him. If this were the mile, now would be the time to kick, run hard through the tape, don´t stop for a second and that´s what He needs of you, but thank you for all that you have done, you just need to finish what you have started.´´ i am so ready to do just that these last few weeks.
We had a cool experience of finding a family on Saturday! The jimenez family. We have been buckling down and trying to look for all o fthe less active members of our ward, and they were one of the families that we had on our list. We had to be a little persuasive to get in, but they finally let us in! Then, we applied what President has taught us of putting outsleves in their shoes, we really tried to imagine what it would be like to have missionaries visiting them after so much time, and we just tried to be their friends and let them feel our love. I dont know why I wanted to talk about htem, but I was just really excited by al lof that!

Ema and Cristian and Jorge all came to church this week (Valeria too) and they are all progressing really well towards baptismal dates and are also introducing us to the entire world!

Yesterday our 4th of July was pretty calm! After our leadership council in the morning, President and Sister Mecham invited us to a bbq which was cool! Then Elder Crandall and I found rootbeer so that made our day! Also we found nervios that day too and so I included a picture of me with our friendly neighborhood crazy hermit.

As I promised the scripture of the week is from D&C 50:45-46 to start off my new chain!

And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am. Watch, therefore, that ye may be  ready. Even so. Amen

Lov you all, Elder Stout

June 28 - I am John F. Kennedy and people want my autograph

Hey all!!

So first of all I was thinking a lot about what I could title my email today and I finally got it. It doesn`t have much to do about the things that happened this week but I thought it was funny. So first of all, there is a crazy old guy in our area who is super famous because he honestly seems like a zombie. He had some drug addiction problems in his youth and completely fried his brain and now he just walks around mumbling and chasing people and yelling swear words at them. Haha, and well he likes to give people names, the name that he has chosen for me is John F. Kennedy, and everytime we see him he yells ``I will learn English to talk to you John F. Kennedy because in my past life I killed you!`` Haha he`s just a harmless old guy, but its funny! Then, this week Elder Crandall and I were just walking through the apartment buildings in our area, and all these little kids started yelling, "gueritos!" which is the equivalant f white boys and pretty much everyone yells us that here. But, when we passed by them they came running up to us and stopped us, and said "Can we please have your autograph, so we got to give them all our autograph and they ran away super excited. That was a cool moment of the mission.
So the coolest thing from last week was with the Paniagua family (yes their name means bread and water). The hermano is our ward mission leader and a recent convert of like a year and a half, and they went and got sealed int he temple this last week and then on Saturday evening, he got to baptize his grandson, Yamil! We have had a long battle there, because Hermano Paniagua`s daughter wants nothing to do with the church and has not wanted to give him permission to be baptized, but she finally gave it to him after much prayers on our part and the part of that family, what a miracle that shows how the Lord can truly soften hearts.

Next on the list, after a tough week last week with finding new investigators, we really got it moving again. Some of the tender mercies that we saw this week: 1 we are teaching Tomy`s niece and her husband right now and the third time that we went there, we asked them, do you have any questions for us? Cristian and Ema looked at each other, and then Cristian said, "What do we have to do to be baptized?" wow, thats a really cool question! 2 we are right now visiting a recovering drug addict named Johnathon and as we taught him the Gospel of Jeus Christ, even before we extended the invitation, he said, "I think I would like to be baptized in one month, how does that sound to you guys?" President has told us so many times, when the people that we teach truly understand the magnitude of the doctrine that we teach, they wont be able to wait, how true it is! Our message is true and is changing lives. 3 We recieved a reference where a sister chased us down on the street and told us, I am from another ward but I want you to teach my friend who lives here. We obviously consented with much enthusiasm! Her name is Sandra, and she was pretty hesistant the first time that we met her in her doorstep, but by the end of the first visit she was anxious to learn more of the restored gospel. I loved seeing how much the spirit worked on these people that we are teaching! He is the real teacher, not us! then number 4 isn`t with a newer investigator, but on Sunday our bishop called me out of the Gospel Principles class and he told me, Elder Stout you have to come and see this, so I went with him to his office and he showed me on his whiteboard that it was written "Valeria, 6 of August, 6 pm" and he told me that Valeria Ortiz Muñoz who we dropped a little bit ago because she seemed to have lost intest in the things came and talekd with him and set her own baptismal date. What a blessing this week was, the Lord is always behind us, it is just learning how to be patient!
I hope you all recognize His hand in your week as well,

Elder Stout

June 21 - To the Rescue

Hey all so this is going to be a little bit of a shorter email because I have been trying to get some more stuff organized for classes, and its pretty frustrating! Haha but its all good!

We had a great week this last week. But one of the things that we are really struggling with is finding the Lord´s elect. We have been blessed with the success of quite a few baptisms in this area, but the more we baptize it just seems like the less people that we have in our teaching pool. We are finding a lot of people, but they just aren´t the elect that we are looking for, they aren´t the people that the lord has been preparing, so that has been a little tough on us. We had to make th etough desicion this last week to stop visiting the hermana Dulce for a while because she just hasn´t been putting forth her part to come to church. I know the Lord has a lot o fpeople prpared for us, and that I just need to be more patient and they will come, so I am just going to keep on working hard in that!

Today we had a zone training in the morning, and Elder Crandall and I had the opportunity to share with everyone what I wrote last week about searching out those who have lost their way and helping them come back. We actually planned out three different zone trainings and we did not know at all what we were going to teach until we got up there. Then it came to us! We talked to everyone about how we are representatives of Jesus Christ and how he always goes after the lost sheep, he goes and rescues them. We challenged the zone to find even more less actives and help them to come back to the fold of our Savior. It turned out great, I am so happy for the Spirit that guides us as we teach.

Well, that was the rundown of the week, I hope that you all have a great one. With much love,

Elder Stout

June 14 - Enduring to the End

Hey all!!

Well I was super excited to see all of the aweseom photos from the last week, especially seeing that Sam is finally done with high school!!! WOOOOHOOOO Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tats so awesome bud!!

So this week the big event was Tomy´s baptism! I was so excited for her, it was such an incredible day! She has been waiting a long time and been ready for a long time ot be able to be baptized but it has just been moved around for various things, but finally this last Saturday it was her day! It was a very spiritual service. America who gave us the reference in the beginning gave an incredible talk where she just shared her feelings with Tomy. It was one of the most heartfelt talks that I have ever heard. After the baptismal ordinance the hermana Tomi shared her feelings with everyone and it was super spiritual, she just talked to us about how clean she felt and her emotions really took over, but the spirit was felt in the entire room.

This week we had some pretty cool oportunities to hear some trainings from President Mecham. He really focused in on two things. One was the importantce of strengthening the church area where we serve. He said we do this by baptizing converted people and by helping bring back the lost sheep that have fallen away from the path. Then, he talked about how to finish our missions!:) Haha in these next two changes President will lose what he calls the nucleus of the mission. He will lose 10 Zone Leaders and 2 Assistents. But, he said all that we have done in our entire missions means nothing now in a certain frame of mind. He said: If you play hard for 50 minutes in the Super Bowl and then decide to sit out the last 10 minutes you will be remembered forever as a failure and the same goes in the mission. He said that in our mission, missionaries DO NOT die! I have included as my scripture of the week as 2 Nephi 31:15-16 along with my promise that I will not be dying. I have spent 22 months preparing to be this missionary that I am now. As I now understand even so much better how to do the Lords work, He needs all I have, and he will get it these last 2 months. I am going to be leaving it all out here, and am going to finish with the sure confidence that there was nothing else I could have given in Mexico!!  

15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, thewords of my Beloved are true and faithful. He thatendureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
 16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following theexample of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.

The last cool thing of the week was Sunday. First of all, our bishop gave an incredible talk on Sunday about going to the rescue of the less actives in our ward. He talked about how every member of the church joined the church at some point because someone; members, family, bishops, or missionaries; prayed over them and then they became a member. Every person has a story behind them, and we need to go and save these people. It was super cool combined with what President had taught us and I am going to give an even greater effort to find and activate these people!

Well, thats all from CDMX! Have a great first week of Summer up there! I love you all!

Elder Stout

Jun 6 - The week of Paco

Hey everyone,

Well the first big news is that I will be staying here in Churubusco one more change with Elder Crandall, I am so excited. This will now be my 5th change here but it will be such a cool opportunity. Usually after 4 changes I have wanted to leave from an area but I am so pumped to be staying here, in this ward, in this area and in this zone! I will also be ´´killing´´ Elder Crandall because I will be his last comp so thatll be pretty fun!

So this week, pretty much everything had to do with Paco! So, Tomi didnt get baptized on Saturday because she left town for a family emergency but all is well and she will be baptized when she gets back! But, this Friday we got to accompany Paco and Mari and their family out to the Estado de Mexico so that they could get married. It was a really cool experience to see that after 5 years they made this desicion. Pretty much everything went wrong in the process but the only important thing is that after all was said and done, they got married, phew! We also got to experience Uber for the first time which is pretty cool! After the marriage we all celebrated with a super fancy pizza lunch from Lil Ceasers haha they are the best family ever, I love them so much and it was so much fun to spend the day with them!

Then Saturday was the big day! Paco asked me to baptize him which was a huge honor. It was really nice baptizing a man because I got to give him a big hug in the font when he came up, and it was amzing even though the water was ice cold. His wife Mari and his daughter Azul gave amazing talks. Azul got up there and just expressed her feeling on the Holy Ghost but nothing will stick with me as when she said ´´Today is a special day because my dad is getting baptized. Today our forever family starts.´´ She had the whole room in tears! After the baptism Elder Crandall and I gave them a picture of the temple and made the goal with them that we would all be back here together in one year for when they enter the temploe to be sealed. It was an incredible expereience that we all lived together, what a huge change that has come over this family. There truly is hope for everyone, Mary stopped coming to church for years because she felt like no one supported her because her family is inactive and her husband wasnt a member. 4 months after we talked to them for the first time in the street they are active, everyone in the family is members of the church and they are going to be sealed in the temple in one year!:) I love missionary work!
Well thats all from CDMX this week! Cant wait for another change in Churubusco!

Con amor,

Elder Stout

May 31 - I am NOT dying

Hey all,

So first of all, I am not dying, contrary to popular belief! I have been visiting a doctor this week, and I am going to survive! To make a long story short, sorry for including too much info in the last email that might have worried some people, I was just kind of freaked out too, but honestly I am happy and healthy! I just think my body is about done with Mexican food! But it can last three more months! I will keep you updated if there is anything else we find out, but if not! Dont worry about me!

This last week was occupied pretty much all by running around the city on different assignements and companin exchanges and things like that, so its really hard to remember it all! But I dont think we had one normal day to just work in the area!

One thing I do remember is we had the pportunity to do companion exchanges with the elders in Estrella who are on fire right now! They are awesome, two super funny guys, and some of the most motivated missionaries in the mission. They are honestrly the talk of the mission right now. I got to go work in Estrella with Elder Rivera and we had an awesome day, a long and hot day, but awesome!

Our investigators are going great! This week Tomi and Paco have their baptismal dates, so please pray that everything can go well with them. We are going to get to go with Paco when they get married which will be so exciting! Tomi has also been introducing us to all of her friends and we have found a bunch of good investigators from her, we are just hoping they can all come feel the spirit in her baptismal service this Saturday.

Speaking of that, Elder Crandall and I did a special zone training on Saturday, focusing on helping the zone to prepare our baptismal services better so that it is truly a memorabl spiritual experience for everyone who goes. It was a really cool training! Afterwards we had the idea to do an area attack, so we split everyone up in groups and we all went to one part of teh zone to just contact everyone that we can, and it was super successful! I got to be with Elder Jarrett adn it was inspirational to talk with him, he is going to be such a great leader someday, I really look up to him!

Well thats all from Churubusco, with the reminder that for changes next week will be a Monday Pday!! Love yall!!

Elder Stout

Monday, May 30, 2016

May 24 - My hen died and I need to bury her

Dad editorial comments...

Ok so before you read this and freak out, Ann was able to talk to Sister Mecham four about 90 minutes, and everything is fine. Alex is not sick, and he did not have the issues he outlines below. He went to a doctor who is a quack and not approved by the mission. The full body scan Alex refers to below was the doctor waving a couple of magnetic wands over him.  Just to be safe, Alex is going to see the normal mission doctor next week.

All of the missionaries in Mexico City are feeling worn out due to the conditions of the air. But, it is not something to worry about.

So, be sure to give Alex a hard time when he comes home about the quack of a doctor he chose to go and see!

Also, no photos this week. :(


Hey all! 

So first of all sorry if this is a short email, and sorry because I will probably not be sending one personal email today because we literally just got back to the area after I had a doctor’s visit! It was...fun! Well, to let everyone know, I have been having some health issues the last few weeks of just feeling pretty sick and always being super tired so we went and visited a doctor that was recommended by the mission and he did a full body scan of me. First of all, my lungs have been wrecked by the smog here, he says that they look like a light smoker’s lungs. Also, the diet here of eating so much fat is starting to take its toll, and he said that combined with the work here has had some bad consequences. He said that my whole body shows up as fatigued, he says that just everything is worn out and that he has never done a scan like that, he literally told me I have to slow down and not work as hard if I want to make it home in one piece! He said that because of that I have super deficiencies in some minerals and that is causing some major problems in my gall bladder and my pancreas which is what has been causing me to be sick. He also said, you are so exhausted at the end of the day that your body can’t fully rest itself. Well, now he has me on a special diet and I will be going in for tests and procedures so that I don’t need my gall bladder taken out or anything, so I will keep you updated!

My subject line is probably the funniest excuse I have ever received for why somebody couldn’t go to church. On Sunday morning we called Jorge Gomez, and he sounded pretty torn up as he told us that his pet hen had passed away and that he wouldn’t be attending church for her funeral service...

This week I had some very cool experiences following the Holy Ghost that just helped remind me that this is truly His work and not ours. On Saturday night we were teaching Paco (who is progressing great) and we had planned to teach him about the plan of salvation. As we started, I felt the need to ask to see the pamphlets that we had given them while we were teaching Azul, as I was looking at them, the prompting came to me ´´You need to teach the one that isn’t here´´ I was confused and then noticed that the Word of Wisdom pamphlet was not with the rest. So I completely changed the lesson up on Elder Crandall (I am sure he thought I had lost it) and started to teach the Word of Wisdom. To make a long story short, we found out partway through the lesson that he has a smoking problem and that he didn´t know it was something that he was going to have to drop, what a blessing that we were able to find that to help him. On a side note, PLEASE pray for Paco everyday so that he can break his addiction!

Then, on Sunday night we were just walking in the street on the way to our final appointment when we passed a guy that was obviously a little tipsy. I usually never talk to people like that because it usually doesn’t end well for American missionaries in Mexico. But, the Spirit stopped me in my tracks and said ´´talk to him´´ so I obeyed. After presenting ourselves he asked us something along the lines of if we had been sent by God, we said yes. And he said something I will never forget, ´´I was just walking down this street thinking of all the problems I have caused in my life, pleading with God that he send me help to be able to overcome all these problems and start again, and then out of the nothing you stopped to talk to me, can you help me?´´ With tears in my eyes I told him that God loved him and had sent us to help him. We taught him how to pray and offered a kneeling prayer on the side of the road where Nicholas asked God for forgiveness and for strength to overcome. It was the first real prayer he had ever done. I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost, I would be nothing without him, I love being an instrument in God´s hands to answer prayers and work miracles. I love this work!

Until next week,

Elder Stout

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 18 - learning to dance in the rain

Hey all!!

Well, the rainy season has officially started here in Mexico City, and I love it! I walk around without a jacket or umbrella in torrential downpours because it just reminds me of Seattle, haha whenever anyone tells me that I am crazy I just tell them that it rains like this pretty much every day where I live. But, I am for sure going to appreciate the rain more when I am home!

First update, working in Espartaco has been a lot harder than we expected! I have never opened an area in my entire mission, and I have so much respect now for the elders that have done it. It’s even harder because well with the circumstances for why the other elders got taken out, they didn’t leave us with very good records or with many people to teach but we are doing our best! The other night we were there and we got totally lost! We had to spend the night in the other elders’ house and we weren’t sure how to get there so we asked the last hermana that we taught how to get there and she told us how to get back but the little colony was like a maze! We ended up running in a complete circle, but it was a fun experience!

Our area is going great! Paco, Dulce and Tomi are progressing really well but please have them in your prayers because they are all passing through some hard things right now that might cause them get baptized a little later than expected! Tomi is having a lot of opposition from her family! Paco needs to get married and Dulce is looking for a work, but all of the jobs and all her interviews are on Sundays :(.

But, we have two new people that we found last week that have us really excited! We have this hermano named Jorge Gomez, who is awesome! I have never seen anyone so ready to learn, he is always like taking notes during our lessons, it’s awesome! And this Sunday was his first time in church. Then yesterday we found the Santiago Sanchez family, and they are super awesome as well! It’s a family of 6, who years ago were investigating the church but the elders had changes and they never heard from them again. We had a super powerful first lesson with them yesterday, and we are hoping big things for them. Finding them was truly a blessing from the Lord!

Yesterday we had a really cool zone conference on really helping the investigators to understand the Sabbath Day. We started out just by calling up missionaries to practice with us as if we were their investigators without telling them anything. And every single one made it sound like going to church is just a requirement to get baptized. It’s true, but if we teach like that we aren’t preparing these people to keep renewing this sacred covenant for the rest of their lives, so we just did something really simple. After Elder Crandall and I gave an example of how it should be done and then we just had them practice for the rest of the conference until every missionary felt like they could do it well. I really loved it because before we have done practices but they haven’t been the focus, but we realized that they really should be the most important thing and that’s what we did! That might be my last zone conference as a ZL so it was really fun! The assistants and the sister training leaders put on some good activities too!

Another fun thing from last week is that after a lot of things going on in the mission and people that were needed in different areas, and I ended up being assigned with Elder Card, another ZL to go and clean out a house that we aren’t going to be using anymore. It was super fun; Elder Card is one of my best friends from the mission! Way back in San Pedro we were in the same district and it was fun to be able to spend time with him again! We got to run up and down three flights of stairs with fridges, beds and everything else in that house...in an absolute downpour! But it kind of sums up my whole mission, things are never going to go as we want them to go, but if we do our part, if we do the right thing, and more importantly if we are found in the service of our fellow beings and our God, even the rainiest day will be an exciting adventure, a learning experience, a day of laughter, and a memory forever!

I love the mission so much, I love serving people, and I love just knowing I am doing His work!

Elder Stout

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 11 - Post Dia de la Mama!

Hey all, 
So this will be a shorter email because I feel like I talked a lot on Sunday in the mother’s day call!

But, the big thing this last week was that our area grew a lot! For some special circumstances, they took out one of the companionships from our zone, and Elder Crandall and I are now in charge of going and visiting their old area which is a good 45 mins away from our area in transport. But, it will be fun getting to know even more people and seeing how much success we can go have in an area like that! I am super excited. It’s a ward called Espartaco!

Today Elder Crandall and I went to a cool part of the zone called the Centro de Coyoacan and it was just this really cool old looking place that reminded me of Europe, I included a pic of us in front of the cathedral there.

We also did intercambios this week, but one of the elders in the other companionship was sick so it was my job to just stay and hang out with him which was really boring, I can’t believe how much I just like working now, but I took one for the team I guess so they wouldn’t lose time in their area, but we took a picture with him passed out in his bed! 

Well, that’s about it I think! I hope everyone else had a good week too!

Elder Stout