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