Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Welcome to Tequisquiapan, Queretaro

Well I got here a couple of hours ago, lost, and without any other missionaries around. I didn't get very good instructions as far as how to get here, but it ended up ok, and I'm mostly already moved in. The area is certainly a lot nicer than Apaxco, but it's definitely still Mexico. For today I'm in a trio, because one Elder is going to train, and he'll pick up his companion tomorrow. My companion is Elder Nuñez. He seems like a good Elder, and I'm trying my best to have a good attitude. I don't doubt that the Lord is going to keep testing me here, but I hope I make it out better than last time.

Last week was mostly slow. We had some new people come to church, which was good. Mostly it just seemed like we had a bunch of Christmas festivities that people invited us to, even though that was only Saturday and Sunday. Our district got together Sunday night to just be together for the last time, as well as sleepover so there wouldn't be problems with Elders being alone for the transfers. It was fun, and I'm going to miss those Elders a lot. Don't worry that you called during that, though. It really wasn't a big deal, and I was just glad we did get to talk, although I certainly would've preferred Skype with the whole family there. Well, we're 5 months from the next one...

That's fun that Tara can finally start running again. I'm sure that's a great relief for her, and she'll enjoy her new freedom. She can now run everywhere instead of driving my car, right? I'm glad you all had a good christmas. I didn't hear anything about Lys and Manuel, but I assume their's was good as well.

Well I hope things continue to be well at home. Thanks to everyone for your continued support and encouragement. I know that this church is true. I know that we all have a purpose in being where we are and doing what we're doing, and that the Lord knows what we need. Have the faith to trust in Him. Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead the by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers. Follow the spirit, and find opportunities to share the gospel every day. Missionary work is for everyone, not just the full-time Elders. I know that Heavenly Father knows and loves us. He gives us the blessings we need when we need them if we are simply obedient and trust in Him. Fill your lives with the things that really matter, and you will be led to the path that leads to Eternal Life

Elder Joseph Facer

Monday, December 19, 2011

This work is a lot easier doing it the Lord's way

me on the pyramid of the sun in a yellow tie
me on the pyramid of the sun in a yellow tie holding up the pyramid of the moon
the three originals of the district, with me in a yellow tie
Diego's baptism
just a legit Mexican pancho from Chiapas
Aurelio and Veronica's baptism with their son Fernando

Well as you may have noticed, we had two baptisms this week (Aurelio and Veronica) and three confirmations (those two and Diego). You could call that a pretty excellent week. I credit it to me first off being very stupid, and then the help of an excellent Elder in helping me to be humble. I had stayed Monday and Tuesday in Tequix because Elder Sotelo and I were just not getting along and President so decreed to give us a little space. Me and Elder Stepp talked it out and it looked like everything was going to be good, but upon returning, I just started feeling worse and worse until we got back to Apaxco for the district meeting and things were just back to normal. Elder Stucki (one of the assistants) had the prompting to come work with us that day, and noticed that something was quite obviously wrong. We talked it out, and he gave me some excellent suggestions as well as a blessing that made all the difference. Never had I considered Christ's counsel to pray for your enemies (or difficult companion) as a way of helping you and them, but it's really helped so much. The blessing was an absolute life-saver as well. I've never really felt such power in the moment of a blessing except for with my patriarchal blessing. Now things are looking a lot better, and I'm very happy with what we've got going. It sure took me long enough, though...

First things first:Skype. Brig said he was going first at 2:30 (I'm assuming our time, but he didn't specify), and we're really only 1 hour ahead of you (you said 2). I know we're planning a little missionary party that night, so I'd like to go as soon as we can. I don't know how long Brigham is going to last (he's coming home in three months anyway...), so I'm going to plan on around 3:10-3:20 our time. I'll try to be on as early as 3, but we'll see what happens. I really have no idea how Skype works, either, so I'll need a little set up time. I'm sorry if that doesn't work with going to Mike and Lisa's, but it's the only way I can work it out with our comida (we get food from the members at 2 instead of dinners. The meal is called la comida). That's my plan. Questions, comments, or concerns, too bad.

That's fun that the Padilla's are going to work it out like me and Brigham. That's very exciting that Tara's advancing so much. That'll be an excellent landmark for her to start running again. Unfortunately, running would come chronologically after car-driving. Just take more care of my car this time! That's fun that Canyon and Savanna are growing up so much. I'm really excited to see and talk to them. Also, Lys, I loved that picture of Andrew you sent. He's just growing up so much! And 7 teeth already? He just won't even be the same little boy by the time I get back.

Regarding your need for treasure hunt ideas, I could sure help if I were there. I'd do some pretty good Spanish ones, too. I'm a fluent rhymer in both languages now. She wouldn't even know the difference. She'd probably think "Santa" learned Spanish this year. Well I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary to Lys and Manuel tomorrow if I'm not mistaken. Again, I really appreciated all of your testimonies and cards, and I hope you all continue faithfully in what you sent to me.

I know this gospel is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of Man, that gave His life for all of our Heavenly Father's children. I've been reading Jesus the Christ, and there's just no doubt in my mind that He is the living Son of the living God. He has all power to help us in any situation, and never leaves us alone when we focus all of our selves in His redeeming power. Just like Alma said, our sorrows and pains, even the most exquisite, will be turned into a joy even greater and sweeter than was our pain. There is real power in the priesthood. We have been given the power to act in the name of God for the salvation of men. Heavenly Father loves us. He really does listen to our prayers, and even answers them according to our faithfulness.

Elder Joseph Facer

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ups and Downs

Sorry about the short letter last week. We were really rushed because we got back late from Teotihuacan. We're good for this week, though, minus the fact that I don't have my camera cable with me... next week for sure. So we had the marriage and baptism of Diego this week, which was good. His wife is the daughter of a less active who is also less active herself, but now seem to want to come back to activity in the church. Excellent. Other than that, things are a little rough right now. Finding is hard, and finding the elect is even harder. We still keep working, though, and I'm sure things will turn out just great.

Regarding Christmas, we have the option of either a phone call or Skype, but I don't know which it will be yet or when or how to reach me. I'll find out this week and let you know for sure next week. There's just an extreme shortage of computers and especially webcams in Apaxco, and I don't know if we'll be allowed to use a member's computer or not. I'll work it out and tell you next week. Also, I don't know if Alyssa has talked to you about coming for that or not, but if we could make that happen, I'd be really happy about it.

So Teotihuacan is really really cool, and a whole lot bigger than I thought it would be. It's certainly something that would be fun to go to when you come down to pick me up (if that's still your plan) and we could hit up Cancun, just because that would be amazing. Essentially there are three main pyramids:Luna, Sol, and Quetzalcoatl (the feathered serpent, aka Jesus). All three are pretty big and you can climb up all of them. The steps are really tall, which isn't a good combination with a short-legged boy, but I made it up ok. You may be shocked in some of the pictures when I send them next week. All I can say is this: yellow tie (?!).

Well I'm glad to hear things are going well for everyone. Thanks so much to Tara, Grandma, Grandpa, Scott, Lys, Mom, Dad, Leslie, Em, Sean, Jon, the Banks family, Sharon, Betsy, the Levie family, Brett, Alyssa L., the Shirley family (and the Sykes), Shaundra, Mallory, Katie, Amy, the Lesser family, the Enciso family, the Smith family, the Hatchett family, the Gonzalez family, the Williams family, the Oldroyd family, the Jordan family, the Gerdy family, the Tanner family, and the Shippen family for your contributions to my package. Every one of your letters was so greatly appreciated, and I'm so grateful for all of your testimonies. You give me so much spiritual strength, and I can't thank you enough for that.

I know that this church is true. Jesus Christ is our savior. Heavenly Father sent His son to die and more importantly resurrect for us. Although we focus more on His suffering, the resurrection really brings about our only chance for salvation. I know that this church was restored through Joseph Smith, and that the prophetic keys and authority of the fulness of the gospel reside today in a living prophet: Thomas S. Monson. This is the only true church of the way, the truth, and the life, even Jesus Christ. The ordinances we perform by this sacred authority are necessary for happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel, and that a man will get closer to God through it's pages than through any other book. It truly is sacred, inspired scripture for our day.

Elder Joseph Facer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Being Led by His Hand


Well we just got back from Teotihuacan, which was really cool, and I got some great souvenirs. Aside from that, it was another fairly rough week with lots of ups and downs. One good thing was that on Sunday, Elder Stepp and I went with the Acevedo family (of investigators) while we were working as a district, and we finally helped Veronica to overcome her fears and mistrust and to commit to getting married and baptized. If all goes well, the marriage and baptisms will be Saturday and the confirmations Sunday. Please pray for Aurelio and Veronica so that everything can work out. They've been through so much, and they really need these blessings in their lives. Other than that, I finished the Book of Mormon again this week which was excellent, and we had interviews with President on Friday, which was also good. My understanding of the gospel continues to increase, and the Lord is blessing me so much.

We're super short on time, so I'll have to wrap up, but first off, I got the package perfectly intact and thank you so much. That was really better than anything I could have ever asked for, and I'm so happy you had that idea. I have the list of everyone to thank, but it'll have to come next week. Sorry this is so short, but we had somewhat of a crisis upon our return.

I know this church is true. I just know it. There's no way it can't be, because I'm much too stubborn of a person for anything that doesn't come from God to touch me the way this doctrine does. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. I know there is great power in constantly reviewing your patriarchal blessing (thanks for the idea Alyssa!). Be faithful. Be courageous. Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God will lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers.