Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One down... One to go

Picture 1: the rainy season is officially here

Picture 2: repercussions of the rainy season

Well I've made it to a year. It seems fairly unbelievable to be honest, but at the same time it seems strange that I still have a whole other year. Anyway, we had a pretty good week this week. We went to a pueblo on the edge of our "little" area called Ojo de Agua, but we fell asleep on the bus, so we crossed into Guanajuato for about 4 minutes. I've now been in 4 different states in Mexico. It's actually really pretty out there, and we found one lady that seems interested. The rain has started for reals now, and we've gotten pretty wet a few times. I pulled my umbrella back out this week. We saw Luis and the family on Saturday, and they've gone and gotten their whole marriage ready without telling us a single word. Super cool, but we were a little worried, because he said he'd let us know what happened. Basically that means that they're awesome and will be baptized on the 8th. Sunday, we got to speak, and I still just love speaking. I spoke on Elder Andersen's talk "What does Christ think of me?", and I feel like it went over very well. Later, we saw a part-member family and put a date with the husband for the 8th as well. We invited Alfredo to come with us to see Luis and the family, and Alfredo and his wife came because they were already out visiting members by where we were. That meant that his wife, Flor, is really starting to open up and be accepting, which is awesome, and she knows all about the plan of salvation. We've also been teaching Alfredo's son, Alfredo, who is just as good as his dad, and has accepted a date for the 15th. He just finished his divorce, has two kids that were taken by social services, and is willing to do anything to get them back, and really believes the gospel will help him. I know it will. To top things off, I finally got the package and two more letters from Alyssa. It was a good week to turn a year in.

Thanks very much to all those who contributed to my package. It was excellent. A special thanks to Alyssa for your present. Unfortunately, it ends up being a little different than 1.57 a week, but it'll all work out, don't worry. Mom, did you forget that you had already sent me the "Called to Serve" CD? It's all good, and I do appreciate you sending the others. Also, thanks very much for the book. I've been anxiously awaiting that one for a while. That was just another success story this week.

In study, I'm in 3 Ne. 3 now. I also started studying PMG in Spanish, and I'm in chapter 3. In the mornings, I listen to the Old Testament in Spanish while I exercise. I want to read all the standard works in Spanish, but I just couldn't bring myself to actually read the OT, so I'll just listen to it. I just finished Exodus this morning. I'm also reading the NT right now, currently in Luke 16. Things are going well, and I just keep learning so much.

This morning, we finally worked out our house situation in the area. We moved all the stuff from the other house over here, so now we just have to get the deposit back on the house, and things'll be all settled. Thank goodness.

Sounds like things are still staying busy "in the hood" as mom would say. As far as getting people excited for emergency preparedness, you could simulate an earthquake or something and then give them nothing to survive with. Then you tell them "well isn't this just quite the pickle you're in. Let's see how much easier this would've been if you'd studied emergency preparedness and had your kits all ready". It could work. I'm glad Brigham is still staying busy and participating so much in the church. I want to be able to do that when I get home, especially working in the temple and with family history. Since when is Scott home for good? Did he stop doing his North Dakota job? It sounds like the kids are all just starting to grow up, though, which is nice. It'll be strange to come home to a 6 year old Canyon, 5 year old Savanna, almost 3 year old Andrew, and who knows how many new chillins. Crazy stuff. Lys, regarding your lemon/lime debate, in Mexico, we just say limón for everything, but we hardly use lemons. Really it just means lime, even though in school they taught me that limón is lemon and lima is lime. Who knows. Brigham, Elder Lewis wants to know if you knew an Elder Lopez from the estado de Mex. while you were in Acapulco. He said you gave him some shoes and helped him out a lot. Elder Lewis met his mom, and somehow you came up.

This is absolutely the true church of Jesus Christ. This gospel is the only way to find true happiness and peace in our lives. Striving everyday to grow and exercise our faith, repenting, and living our covenants and the commandments is such an edifying and uplifting life to live. I know that living the gospel will bring us peace in times of trials, comfort in times of sadness, and joy in all that we do. Jesus Christ is our Savior. Without Him, Heavenly Father's plan couldn't have worked. Because He did the Atonement and submitted His will to His Father's, we have that opportunity, and we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families for eternity. There is no message more important. There is no other doctrine that will bring happiness to this world and to us as individuals and our families. This is the way, the truth, and the life. I know that Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for each of us. Everything we pass through in this earthly experience is for our good if we let it be so. I know that we can all repent of our sins and transgressions through the Atonement of Christ. Only through His mercy and grace can be become like Him, and become joint-heirs of all the Father has. I know that a family can be united for eternity through Heavenly Father's plan and the sacred priesthood keys exercised by President Monson. Heavenly Father loves us and hears and answers our prayers that we pray with faith.

Elder Facer

Monday, June 18, 2012

Late Rainy Season

Elder Peña

Well we finally started getting some real rain this week, and it's been cloudy most of the time, which is a nice break from the Querétaro sun, which is super hot (I enjoy it, though). This week we tried to make everything work out with changing houses because of the bigger area, but we still haven't worked it out. Thankfully, we still have this week to do so. Either way, we'll end up moving next week, either the stuff from the other house over here, or the stuff from here and the other house to a different house. We found some new people this week, but everyone decided to hide or not be able to come to church on Saturday night. That happens, though, so we're not too worried. The real success story this week is in two parts. Part one:Alfredo got the priesthood and is going to take us to see some of his kids to teach them. Part two: I don't know how much I've told you about Luis and Norma and their family, but basically Norma and her two baptismal age kids have had all the teaching, they love church, and want to get baptized. Luis is always working except Saturdays and Sundays and was kind of against the whole baptism thing for a while. Nobody could get baptized because Norma and Luis aren't married anyway. Anyway, last night we went to talk with them with the determination to put a baptismal date because Luis has opened up a lot and now comes to church every week. We got there and talked about church, and then just jumped right in and put the date. We felt that we should put it for July 8, so we did, and Norma told us that she had signed up to give us food on the 8, she invited another family, they were going to have a party for their son, and now they're getting baptized, so she just knew that the 8th was right. Luis was still a little timid about it, not believing that the marriage papers could go through before then. I shared I Ne. 3:7 and told him that the Lord would put forth the means so that the papers go through and so that they can be baptized as a family that day. They all accepted. The Spirit was just so strong in that lesson, and it was such a testimony builder for me about following the Spirit and that the Lord will prepare the way for us to keep His commandments.

It is a little strange that I'm going to turn a year old this week. It's a little more strange being with a missionary who's going to finish soon. He's the first companion I've had that'll finish with me. He told me that Pres. Call had asked him to stay, but it won't be a whole other transfer, just until August 20 or thereabouts. I'm totally ok with that. He's good with it, too, but feels bad that he'll be missing his brother's wedding, because he already missed his sister's wedding while on the mission. He's really one that I imagine will always be willing to do what the Lord asks, whatever the sacrifice. That's fun that Sr. Cox knows his aunt. I guess she can fill them in with my side of the story if they're following his side already.

Tara didn't tell me about the work mix up. I haven't heard from her in two weeks, so Lys, this is your chance to claim the best writer title. Even when I went to do baptisms frequently, the temple workers never seemed to recognize me. That's my goal upon returning, though. That's strange that everyone is having to adjust to normal food after Peru. I'd imagine at least Brig and Manuel would've been fine. It was probably from those suaperro (suadero, in case you haven't heard that before) tacos they ate in Mexico. I'm jealous that Brig saw the Avengers, but Alyssa has promised me an Avengers marathon when I'm home, so it'll all work out. I used to see more movies on buses, but only 20 minutes of them going from Tequis to San Juan, but here there aren't any. Also cool that Brig got to see Elder Wilding. I hope everything works out well with housing and what not. I also hadn't heard that Brig is in the priest's quorum or that Bro. Condel was. I guess it makes sense, because you did tell me that Bro. Scoubes is the new Elder's Quorum president. I've definitely heard that story about the running missionary before. I didn't know that you helped him get into BYU. That's pretty cool, though. I guess I'll have to start challenging people to play guitar scales faster than them so they listen to us and come to church. That'll work out well with all the people in the area that play guitar (maybe 6).

Lys, happy birthday. You're now a little older than you used to be. I can relate to your baby being the size of a lime because we use them at least thrice daily. I'll remember that when we go eat today.

Happy father's day to all the fathers reading this. I've gotten a really strong testimony about fathers and the priesthood in the last month or so, and I know that your role is essential in God's plan for us, His children. There are probably few things more powerful and moving than a righteous, priesthood-bearing father exercising his priesthood on behalf of his family. Keep up the good work, and felicidades.

I know that the family is ordained of God. Marriage is also established and ordained by Him and is the only way that we can return to live in His presence with our families. I know that the prieshood is real, and is the very power of God for the salvation of His children. I know that the temple ordinances manifest this power, and that we truly do have the keys of the kingdom on the earth again. I know that Christ is our Savior. Following Him is the only way to find joy in this life and to receive eternal life in the world to come. I know that as we turn to Him, He will take upon Him our burdens and cares and make them light. Heavenly Father loves us. He is our Father. I know that His plan makes it possible for all of us to return worthily to live with Him.

Elder Facer

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Big Change

Picture 1:who can guess the fruit?

Picture 2:the baptism bucket brigade

This was a bit of a crazy week for us. Missionary work was exceptionally slow, but we had some pretty big events. On Friday, the sister missionaries had a baptism (we're in the same ward) and needed help getting everything ready and just having priesthood there, so we helped out. Whoever filled up the font on Sunday filled up the outside reserve (where the font drains) then the font, so there was nowhere for the water to drain. That means that we had to empty the font with buckets into the bathroom. Sweet. We got wet and tired, but everything turned out ok, and the baptism went well. Before that, on Thursday, we were informed that the sisters are being taken out of the ward and that we are absorbing their area as well. That means we get to stress about learning a huge part of the ward with no help, changing houses after finding another one in the other side of the ward, and then working an enormous area. To make things better, Elder Lewis got transferred. The good news in all of this is that my new companion, Elder Peña, had been in Jurica before when it was only one area, so he actually knew the other side. Talk about a miracle. That was the extent of the crazy, but I tell you, I was sure stressed out when I thought I would have to do it all on my own.

Elder Peña is in his last transfer right now. He's from Cedar City, but his aunt and uncle live in Orem, probably in our stake. Their last name is Mann, and he said they live above Timpanogos. Anyway, he seems super good. He came from being a zone leader, and everyone just says he's super solid, so I'm pretty happy about that. He was Elder Stepp's companion in the MTC, and I heard a lot about him from Elder Stepp, so I feel like I know him a little already.

Mostly Elder Lewis and I just sang for the members after food, or after a lesson if we felt good about it. Other than that, there wasn't much opportunity for using his singing talent. I really don't have much musical opportunities in this ward, though. But now he's gone, so nothing will come of that. Mom, I'm glad you're feeling better. You better be after a week of sleeping. That's what I'll need when I get home. I didn't know Grandpa Facer was already that old. It sounds like a good party, though, and I can't say I'm surprised that Canyon is just a little social butterfly. He's always seemed like that to me. I hadn't heard that the Chynoweths are going to serve a mission. That's really cool, though. I can't say I'm surprised that Peru and Mexico are similar as countries, but from what I've seen of the Peruvian elders here, the people are actually pretty different. Maybe I've just seen all of the special cases, but those are my observations, nonetheless. The members are like that everywhere I've been here, as well. As hard as we trie to help them understand their responsibilities, they just don't, even more so here where there's a whole lot more wealth. This is probably one of the richest areas in the mission. So who's this Brenda friend of Brigham's? Is she someone from his mission or a friend that just happened to be in Mexico for the layover? What Ipod does Brigham have? I don't remember him with a touch before the mission. That's hilarious about Andrew's "Angry Birds" dance, though. I'm probably imagining it a lot different than it actually is, but it's still hilarious in my head.

Well that's about all for now. Hopefully we'll have some awesome news next week with finding 78 families of elect people that'll all be baptized in three weeks. That's the plan, anyway.

I know that Heavenly Father loves us. He knows us: our needs, challenges, frailties, strengths, desires, everything. He hears and answers prayers. He will give us strength to overcome our trials and temptations as long as we deserve it and ask for it. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He suffered and died for our sins to make our salvation possible. Without Him, we could never have an eternal family. I know that President Monson is a living prophet. He guides us according the the will of God, and will lead us on our path to eternal life. I know that the scriptures are true, and that they will also guide us as we heed their counsel. "The words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do". I know that only through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can we find lasting joy and peace in this life. Without it, we are entirely lost, and subject to all the weaknesses of our carnal selves. With it, our weaknesses can be overcome, we can be clean, and we can prepare ourselves to become like our Father in Heaven, having an eternal family.

Elder Facer

Monday, June 4, 2012

Alma 13:24

my first non-pre-sliced mango eating experience

Alfredo got confirmed this week, and he's all set for his priesthood interview and ordination next Sunday. Sweet. He gave us this fruit to try called guimache that was interesting. He's always trying to feed us, but we always see him right before or after we eat. Life is just good, but now that he's not an investigator, we probably won't see him that much. I sure love that guy, though. Anyway, the rest of the week was pretty slow. We had a whole lot of member lessons, but not very many new investigators. I'm glad that we're getting a little more support, though, especially now that we finally have a ward mission leader who wants to work, and he seems like he'll be pretty good. We did have a cool experience with a family that's been in teaching for a while but hasn't been able to be baptized because the parents aren't married. Basically, the dad's always working so it's hard to find him, but he took the week off so we finally were able to talk to him and make some good progress. On Saturday, he basically told us his life story as it relates to family and religion, so now we understand him a whole lot better, and he is now thinking about getting married, which is just excellent. He told us a story about when he was young, how his parents ran him from the house, and he went traveling looking for work with some friends. At a time where they had literally nothing, a guy in a hoodie and a baseball cap with the hood over the cap showed up and asked what they were doing. They explained the situation, and he said "Well it's time for my first good deed of the day" and took them to the grocery store to buy them food and clothes. They, being wary, waited in the other line while the guy paid, and saw him pull out an enormous wad of bills and buy them a couple week's worth of food and pants and shoes for everyone. They left the store, and the guy started walking away, turning the corner. They went around the corner and he was gone... can you say "3 Nephites?!" The Spirit told me that it was one of them that had helped him, and it reminded me of Alma 13:24 that says that angles are preparing the hearts of men to receive the word, and how true that is. That was just a super cool experience.
That may have been the longest paragraph I've ever written in an email. Well it sounds like things are going well in Peru. I'm sorry sales haven't been as good as you were hoping, though. At least you got to do some fun stuff. What ruins did you go to? From what I've heard, macchu picchu is pretty far from Trujillo, but I'm just not aware of any other ruins down there. Take pictures and fill me in, will ya? Mom, that's fun that Hna. Lozano (Martinez. They use their maiden names even if they're married) replied. She'll probably understand an English reply. She lived in the US for at least a year, and learned enough, so that's no big deal. Also fun that you saw Sra. Huerta. I was thinking about all of my Spanish teachers a few weeks ago, mostly Sra. Sillito, because she was from DF if I remember correctly. That's crazy that you got your gall bladder out. I assume that's not a vital organ if you got it out. I sure hope you get feeling better soon.
Well in study this week, I read Alma 60 today, and then President Call quoted it in his letter, and I had totally thought about that as I read it. In Spanish, I finished Helaman 5 yesterday, which is a much better chapter than I remember it being aside from just having a couple of good verses. I read all of D&C this week, and started Moses today. I plan on starting the New Testament when I finish the Pearl of Great Price, so that'll start probably on Wednesday. I want to familiarize myself a lot more with the New Testament, so I may take a different approach to studying this time than just a read-through, but I'll let you know.
Aside from that, It's been a pretty normal week. We're still working hard and trying to find the elect, but they aren't showing up yet. We just need to have faith in the promises of the Lord, and do everything we can, trusting that He'll do the rest (D&C 123:17), and I know things will work out how they should.
I know that the Lord is watching over us and protecting us. He knows us each so intimately and individually, and is innately aware of our needs, yearnings, and desires. He hears our prayers and answers them when we pray with faith. I know that He is truly our Father and that He loves us so much. Even when things are hard, I know that He strengthens me and helps me to carry on in His work. I know that the Lord qualifies those whom He calls to do His work, and we are never left without divine help when we are on the Lord's errand. I know that God speaks to us, both personally and through the prophets. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and without Him, we would all be lost and unable to return to God's presence. I know that through the Atonement, we can obtain mercy and forgiveness of our sins. The Father's mercy is endless, so long as we do what is necessary to qualify for it. I know that the priesthood ordinances manifest the power of God. Through obedience to the covenants we make, we can be worthy to live with our Father and our families eternally. There is absolutely no reason to shoot for anything less. The way is clear, the steps are laid out, and Christ will lead us along the path to Eternal Life. When the road is hard, He will carry us, comfort us, and heal us so that we can resume the journey, ever-reliant on His precious, redeeming blood to save us.
Elder Facer