Monday, May 28, 2012

The Best Birthday Present I Could've Asked For

another happy day this week. You can all imagine why.

we ate Carl's Jr. this week. Excellent

even though he's not smiling, he was super happy. I was, too.

Alfredo Got Baptized! WOOHOO!!! This was just an excellent week for me. We had an excellent experience teaching a 17-year-old recent convert, who has decided that he's absolutely going on a mission. We got to speak in church. We had a baptism. We sent a missionary out from the ward that's serving in Provo. We just did it all it looks like. It was a bit of a difficult week as far as working and finding, but I've just felt great. The Spirit has been very strong, and that's never anything to complain about. I got to speak on the Atonement, which meant I got to study it, and that was great as well. I just can't even express how grateful I am for the gospel and being able to share it. Life is great.
Study this week included more wars and preparation for wars and burying the dead after wars, so that was maybe a little less spiritual, but there're still good things to learn in those chapters. In Spanish, I'm just about to finish those. I started Doctrine and Covenants, and have read up to section 83, and there's good stuff in there as well, especially about missions and missionary work and the like.
It seems like so much happened this week, but I can't really think of anything. I'm glad everyone made it ok to Peru, and I hope luggage gets there soon. Lys, the cubana definitely wasn't the best idea you could've had in Mexico City. That was basically just asking for diarrhea. It's like jumping into the deep end before you know how to swim. I hope it didn't get you too bad, though. The ward isn't great at helping us find. They'll say they have a referral, then never get the address or get it and not tell us where it is because we have no idea where it is. They're good people, but could use some help in the missionary work department. That's why I made a huge plug for PMG in my talk. Hopefully it catches on. I don't know what you want to know about Elder Lewis. We just get along well and he isn't a bad missionary. He wants to work and he does, so it all works out great. In interviews, President didn't say much. Just the normal "make sure everything's ok and that you're not being a screw off" kind of things. Not that I've ever been a screw off, but he always checks obedience. To be honest, it would've been a miracle if the package got there in time for interviews, so I wasn't really expecting it. The real problem is that I have no idea when we'll get things from the offices again, so we'll see how old the package is when it gets here. Sounds like you've got some big (but totally expected) plans for the long weekend. I had forgotten that it was also memorial day today. Everyone here has been partying all week, so an American holiday just didn't even cross my mind. What's chimpanzee that you're going to see with Canyon and Savanna? I don't really feel 20 to be honest. I don't feel like anything but a missionary right now, which is probably best.
Alyssa S., I have a quick favor to ask of you. I wrote the letter to Drew today, and even though I explained who I am, I'd appreciate it if you could send him a quick letter like today so it beats mine there and so he doesn't get totally weirded out (maybe just slightly). Just let him know who I am and that he can look forward to that letter. Thanks!
I know that Heavenly Father loves us. He truly knows us and understands our deepest feelings and desires. He watches over us in all that we do. I know that He hears our prayers. As I got down to pray last night, I said "Heavenly Father..." and waited. I heard the unmistakeable words "I'm listening". I know that He hears and answers our prayers. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be our Savior. I know that Christ suffered for our sins and made it possible for us to exercise our faith unto repentance. I know that the Atonement is absolutely real, and can have infinite power to strengthen and comfort us if we are willing to do our part. I know that we can receive mercy as we repent and forsake our sins. We can be clean. Even though they be as scarlet, they can be as white as the driven snow. I know that this is the only way to be happy. As we live the gospel and repent daily, the Spirit will be our constant companion, and we will pass through life's trials with a renewed vigor and ability to come out on top. I know that when the Lord is on our side, no other force or power or person in or out of this world can do anything to bring us down. He is our Savior and our Brother. Our Master, and our Advocate with the Father, the Great Jehovah who took upon Him flesh, died, and lives again.
Elder Facer

Monday, May 21, 2012

Healthier Than A Horse

Happy Birthday to Elders Facer and Lewis

Well Alfredo came to church again this week, and so he's all set to be baptized next Sunday. Sweet. He just continues to be excellent and understand everything and wants to do what's right. He's just going to be a super great member and priesthood holder. Hopefully his family isn't too far behind. So far, we just get questions about anti-mormon things they've heard about, but it's a start, and Alfredo says his grankids love watching "The Restoration", which is awesome. In short, things are looking good for him and his family. Unfortunately, we didn't find hardly anyone this week. That's always rough, but we keep working and trying to find the elect that are waiting for this message.
So on Mondays we go to a brother's house in the ward and do laundry and all that jazz, and he's really into Herbalife (a health craze that's everywhere here in Mexico. I don't know that I saw it in the US). He has a really fancy scale that tells you all kinds of stats about yourself, and apparently I'm literally in perfect shape. Here are my stats:
Weight:147.4 lbs
BMI: 23.5 (perfectly normal)
Body fat %: 13.3 (perfectly normal)
Skeletal Muscle %: 45.4 (really high, meaning I have very little fat and a lot of muscle)
Resting Metabolism: 1657 (I'm still not sure what that means as far as how healthy I am)
Body age: 20 (Elder Lewis's is 34, and I guess most people are a lot higher than their real age)
Visceral fat: 5 (really low, meaning I have almost no fat in my gut region)
Not bad, right? I'm not sure how I managed to be an anomaly (the brother said I'm one of maybe 5 people out of hundreds that he's weighed that turned out perfect). I still just eat like I always have. Really the only thing that's changed is that I do my exercise in the mornings now. Anyway, that was the high point of today so far.
I finished Preach My Gospel again this week. I sure love all the different things I have to study. In the Book of Mormon, I'm in Alma 47, so we're just gearing up for some pretty serious battles this week, and in Spanish, I'm in Alma 48, so we get to find out how cool Moroni is. I'm trying to decide whether or not to start D&C or the New Testament now. Today I just read my patriarchal blessing and some conference talks, but one of those will begin this week.
I'm sorry to hear that Lys is still sick. I sure hope things start looking better before you go to Peru, because that would just be a bad combo. I hope Andrew gets better as well. Good thing Manuel's doing alright, though. Mom, that's fun that you had the missionary family get together. It sounds like everyone's doing well, so that's good. Also, that's cool that Jonathan could talk to his dad, too. I bet that was a really nice surprise (or not surprise, but just occurrence) for him. There's really just so much good going on in the world with missionaries that for anyone not to be good would be just a shame. I'm glad ward conference went well. I miss a good conference. Also, they told us that all four missionaries in the ward are going to speak next week, so I'll let you know how that goes.
We had interviews on Wednesday, and the package hadn't arrived. Really nobody's packages had arrived. I just got one letter from Alyssa (thanks!) and that's it. It was ok because I got mail last week, but I do wish the package would've gotten here on time. I guess I'll have to wait a while longer and have maybe slightly harder, but still excellent cookies.
Well I feel like I had more to say, but nothing's coming, so that'll be it I suppose. I know that this is the true and only Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that only through the ordinances, covenants, and principles of the gospel can we return to live with Heavenly Father. I know that as we do so, we will be blessed in this life and we will find true peace and comfort in all of our trials. I know that only through Christ is our salvation possible. Faith and repentance are real principles that we need to apply every day. As we do so, we will be open to the revelation that Heavenly Father wants to give us and we will find true joy in living the gospel. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He will grant us according to our desires for exaltation and will grant us according to our faith in Him and His son. I know that the Atonement is a real power that can and does change our lives depending on how much we use it. I know that the more that we apply it in our lives, the closer we will be to our Father in Heaven, and the happier we will be in this life. "I have told you these things that ye may learn wisdom. I have told you these things that ye may learn of me that there is no way that man may be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, He is the light and the life of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness".
Elder Facer
(first one to guess the scripture that I memorized without using technology wins a prize!)
(I've been memorizing a scripture a week starting about 6 weeks ago as per Elder Scott's October 2011 conference talk)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Picture 1:the cake we made for Elder Lewis's/my combined birthday party (his was April 14)
Picture 2: coming soon. The cake with frosting and decorated and our party that we'll
undoubtedly have

What a week we had. Mexico essentially shuts down whenever there's a holiday and a few days before and after, and they have holidays almost every single day of the year. When they're bigger, then it's more apparent, though. Working wasn't super easy this week, but we still did, and we had Alfredo come to church. Like I told you yesterday, he's excellent. I don't doubt even a little that we'll have more good news to tell you about him in the next couple of weeks. Other than that, we didn't really have any good new investigators. Some decent ones that could turn out good, but didn't look super great right from the get go. The highlight of the week was certainly talking to you all yesterday, though. Pictures are nice, but I've always liked to see people in real life (even if it's through technology). It just makes for a much more meaningful interaction. It was great to see everyone and I'm so glad that you're all doing well.

We'll have interviews on Wednesday (9-7, that'll be a long day...). I really hope that your package got here miraculously, because if not, I won't get it for probably a while. Also, I'd sure love to get a few more letters even though we got mail on Wednesday. Really that was just a nice coincidence, and we don't get mail a whole lot here in Querétaro, being so far from the offices. Brig, if you want to Google Earth it, I'm in Santa Rosa Jáuregui, Querétaro, and the offices are in Cuautitlán Izcalli, México. Mira Azul 69, Col. Cumbria if you want to see the actual building.

Study is going really well, and I feel like I'm getting a lot more personal revelation than what I did before. I read Alma 39 today, so this week I got all the Zoramite preaching and Alma talking to Helaman and Shiblon. Alma 36 is my favorite chapter of scripture (closely followed by Psalm 23, I think) and I really wish now that I would've put Alma 36:24 on my missionary plaque (is that the right kind of plaque, or is that the tooth kind?). Too late, though, I guess. I've been studying Preach My Gospel lately, which has been excellent. I just finished chapter 6, and I'm loving every bit of it. Brig, the PMG you gave me inspired me to start doing margin notes, because I almost never did, and so that's been a great source of personal revelation as well. Thanks, bro. Basically, my English PMG will be heavily marked and ready for use for the rest of my life by the time I get home, and the Spanish one is next. I want to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish again before doing that. Right now I'm in Alma 40 (same as English, coincidentally), and loving that just as much. I also think Alma 26 is a lot better in Spanish than in English for some reason.

I didn't know that Andrew was sick, but I'm sorry. It's nice that he's doing better and that you have the priesthood in your home to bless him. There really is so much power in a worthy father giving his child a blessing. It's something I didn't appreciate before, but now realize just how amazing that was. Tara, do good in school even if you don't want to. I know soccer is more fun, but doing well in school is really much more important right now, even if you don't think so. Brig, I can't believe you have hair. I'm not sure why you play with Tara's all the time, because you have your own for the first time in your life. You look good, and I'm glad you're staying busy (even if it's a little too busy). Manuel, you might as well get used to the Mexican Spanish. We've got you outnumbered. Alicia, thanks for coming and updating me on Scott and your family. Canyon and Savanna look like they're growing up a lot, and it was fun to talk to them, even for just a little bit. Alyssa, thanks so much for coming. My reactions are coming in letter form, so be patient. Also, I love how long your hair is. The pictures (as much as I love them and want you to keep sending them frequently) just don't do you justice.

Mom good work on your talk. That's super cool about the new Provo temple. I was really hoping I'd be home for the dedication, and I think it would be super cool to go. I also feel like I've grown up a lot. I don't think I've changed at my core very much, but I feel like I've matured and have gotten rid of some habits and attitudes that were holding me back. This has really been an amazing experience for me, and I continue to grow and learn every day. The best part is that I'm not even halfway through. Elder Lewis also had a good chat with his family. Jessie Beck actually came over, so I saw her, but didn't say anything. I did know her in high school, just by the way. I'm glad Alyssa enjoyed yesterday so much. Even though I know I'm not serving for her, I know that she'll be blessed for the sacrifice that we're all making, and I sure hope we'll be able to benefit from all the lessons we're learning even after I'm back. Unfortunately for me, that depends a lot more on her than on me. We'll see what happens, though.

A very happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers and women who have influenced my life. Your sacrifices, even when unknown by many, are all recognized by our Father in Heaven, and you are fulfilling an essential part of His plan by being the excellent mothers you are. I'm so grateful for all of my aunts, sisters, sister-in-law, grandmas, and my mom for being a big part in making me who I am today.

I know that this is truly the Lord's work. His hand guides us and molds us into the servants He would have us be. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Only through Him is our salvation possible. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, who took upon Him every single one of our sins, infirmities, pains, afflictions, and sorrows. Even though He knew all things through the Spirit, He experienced it all in the flesh in order to take it all fully upon Him. His Atonement is the single greatest act that has ever been done and ever will be. He, through His divine attributes as God's Son, overcame the bounds of physical and spiritual death, becoming the only means of return to our Heavenly Father. He loves us infinitely. He is our advocate with the Father who sends the Comforter in our times of trial. I know that God is our Father. He also loves us infinitely. So much so, that He gave His son to fulfill the Atonement, and assure return to Him through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. I know that living the Gospel will make us happy, and nothing else will. I know that living the Gospel will change us for the better, and nothing else can. I know that living the Gospel is the way that our family can be together for eternity, according to God's eternal plan of happiness and redemption.

Elder Facer

Monday, May 7, 2012

I was going for kind of an Obi-Wan-Kenobi look. How'd I do?

you can't tell, but we actually primed this wall (as in painted with primer)

Git 'R Done!

This was a pretty good week. I'm really liking my area and we have some pretty good investigators. We had a family come to church that could be super good except for the husband. He came for the first time this week, but they aren't married, and he's a little resistant. Really he's just never been religious and is a little agnostic. Anyway, we're working with them, and I have a lot of faith that they'll be baptized and be excellent members of the church before too long. This week was also the first week that I've done 140 contacts (10/day/companion) which is what Elder Ballard asked all the missionaries in the world to do. I didn't used to be good at them, but when I finally did, my companions weren't, so we never quite made it. This week, though, we did, and are planning on doing it every week. Elder Lewis is a really good missionary and a hard worker, and we're doing work here as Brigham would say. Also, we've had some pretty serious, but super cool, thunderstorms about every night this week. Hooray for the early rainy season.

So I've started studying Preach My Gospel again along with my BOM chapter a day. I read Alma 32 today which is just a great chapter. Alma and Amulek are basically just excellent. We're going to be like them here in Jurica. Also, PMG is going well. I'm in chapter 3, lesson 4 right now, but I'm studying it really seriously, scriptures and everything. That's going really well, and I feel good about it all.

As far as cooking in celsius, I'm constantly converting kilometers to miles and celsius to fahrenheit in my head, first of all to know what the heck is going on, and second because I love being able to do it, so I do. Measurements are really easy, but I guess I don't need to tell you if you've got Lys and Manuel helping out, too. I guess just tell them what cake box mix you buy, and they can make it happen. I always thought it was a recipe... I've been living a lie. Elder Lewis started the same day as me, but got to Mexico a little later because he was 9 weeks in the MTC. The rest of my generation got here August 23, when I was originally going to get here. That's cool that everyone knows him, though. We've talked a lot about who we remember from high school, and we knew a lot of the same people, but just never really knew each other. Now we do, though. Sounds like Tara's life is pretty busy right now. That's cool about the setting apart. I gave a really good blessing this week, too. It felt literally like an out-of-body experience. I felt like I was kind of above everything watching it all going on (with my eyes closed, of course). I don't know, it was different, but pretty cool. Tell your prom date to just step off. If he's going to be really annoying and you don't want it, just tell him what's up. Ask Alyssa S. how that works with Britain. She'll know what you mean. On the ACT, just don't stress. Obviously, be prepared, but don't stress out about it. Have the attitude that you are going to ace it and be confident. That's all that I've ever done (aside from the preparing part... oops) and it worked out fine for me. If you are nervous, you won't do as well. That's it, really. Brig, good work for staying busy. I sure hope I don't need to have 3 jobs when I get home, though I very well may depending on how things go. It's good to stay busy, though, and I'm glad you got to go to the temple, too. Also, I'm jealous that you and Tara get to go to Peru. I'm looking forward to that when I get back. How's your Spanish holding up? I'll be looking forward to talking to you on Sunday to make sure the Mexicans taught you right. Mom, thanks for sending the package. The cookies were good and soft last time, so I'm not expecting hard and crunchy. We have interviews on the 16, so it may just get here in time for me to get it right when it shows up. Excellent.

Skype will be next Sunday between 5 and 5:30 your time. There's a member here with a super good connection (says his girlfriend that goes to BYU but is living down here right now), so it should be good. I assume Alyssa will see this, but mom, please remind her.

Well I feel like that's everything, but that I'm missing something... who knows. I no longer play piano in sacrament because this ward has people that do, but way too quiet. Dang. Anyway, I know that this is the Lord's work. Not just what we're doing out here, but everything that you're doing at home to help yourselves and those around you come to Christ. Heavenly Father really does watch over us and guide us to help others if we let Him. His plan is absolutely perfect, and He'll never leave us alone. He loves us more than we can know, and has prepared the way for us to become as He is. Jesus Christ truly is His Son that gave His live to save all of those who would believe on His name. There is no other way to get to the Father aside from through the name of Christ. I know that as we worthily bear His name, having taken it upon us at baptism, the blessings of heaven will be poured out on us. Heavenly Father desires to give us all the He has, and so long as we qualify for it, it will be ours. "Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can"

Elder Facer