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! 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 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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 3 - Happy May!

Hey everyone!

Wow, once again I cannot believe that it’s a different month! Once again crazy how fast time is flying by! Well, everything is going great here in Churubusco, my new comp is Elder Crandall from Idaho Falls, Idaho! He goes home one change before me, so that means that if I stay here in Churubusco for his last change I will likely finish my mission here!!! Which would be incredible. We are already great friends, we actually got to spend a little bit of time together earlier on in the mission when I was in Topilejo, he was another district leader in the same zone, so I was super excited to hear his name on change day, he was one of the people I was hoping to get! Also, it’s his first change being a zone leader, so I get to train him on all of the duties and stuff like that and its super fun, he’s got some great ideas that we are going to put into practice for the zone soon!

So one cool thing is that there was another baptism in the ward this week of a little girl named Dana Alice Atunez Morales. She is a ward baptism because she’s only 8 years old but her parents weren’t baptized that long ago and so they are still super close with the missionaries, but I had the honor of giving her the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday which was such an incredible thing to do! I know that God is preparing that generation just from the amazing youth/children that I have met in my mission.

Yesterday we had a super spiritual leadership council with President Mecham where he focused a lot on the importance of the sacrament. It has been eye opening for me here in the mission to learn about it, because honestly it was probably the principle that I understood least before the mission, I just saw it as bread and water but I feel like I am starting to have weekly spiritual experiences as I grow my understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and understand more what the Sacrament represents. I found some scriptures that I would like to invite you all to read about it this week:
DC 27:2
1 Corinthians 11:28
John 6:47-58
3 Nephi 20:7-9

Well that’s about it from this week which was a shortened week for all of the trainings and other stuff that always accompany the changes!

From Mexico with love,

Elder Stout