Tuesday, May 28, 2013

4 weeks

                                                The District

Well this week went a little better, but still not quite where we need to be.  I was surprised on Wednesday when President Call called me in the morning to say that he and Sister Call would be coming to my district meeting, then a few minutes later finding out that the zone leaders (which meant one zone leader and one assistant because they were on exchanges) would be coming as well. Pressure no longer affects me, so everything went fine, and I actually got several really nice compliments from all of the special guests.  Just another success story.  Other than that, I would've liked to have taught some more and had a little bit of success as far as people in church, but everything happens in the Lord's time, I suppose.  I know everything will work out fine.  E. Gutierrez and I are working hard and trying to do all that we can, so I'm happy with that.
I had a special reminder this week about the importance of the sacrament this week and the blessings we can receive as we worthily partake of it.  I had been hoping and praying for a spiritual experience during the sacrament, and I made a special effort to make sure I had repented completely before Sunday.  Sure enough, the Lord didn't fail me, and I felt very powerfully God's love and approbation as I partook.  I love that every week we can have that experience and know that we are forgiven of our sins and cleansed through the Atoning blood of Christ.  Afterwards, I felt a desire to study John 17 and 21.  The Spirit that came during the Sacrament helped me to understand much better those two chapters and learn a lot more. 

That's great that Ryan got home and had a great mission.  The closer that moment gets for me, the more I analyze and try to determine what the Lord needs me to do in these last weeks to have that same approbation, and I feel like He's happy with what I've done so far.  That talk by Elder Holland is one of my all time favorites.  I read it every time I need to remind myself what's really important and stay focused and it certainly does the job.  That story in John 21 is probably one of my favorite chapters of all scripture.  I was so happy to hear that you're helping out your friend, Lexie with her gospel journey.  I'm worried that being back in Orem, Utah I won't have as many missionary opportunities as I would like, so it's great for me to hear that even in the Windsor 7th ward there's missionary work to be done, and I want to be a part of it.  That's nice that Lys got back fine.  I talked to a Peruvian sister in my disctrict today, and she told me that the Peruvians would just make fun of my Chilango accent, but that's probably fine.  That Canyon has just grown up a whole lot in these last two years.  It's fun to hear all the changes that the grandkids are making.  

I'm going to wait a week on the ward letter because I haven't thought of what to write yet.

I know that God knows us perfectly.  I know that His love for us is also perfect and the He is ever present to help and guide us.  I've been so blessed to be a witness of His love to His children here in Mexico.  They need it, and it's so beautiful to have a personal testimony and witness of that myself.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He effected a perfect Atonement for the exaltation of all of God's children that live His gospel.  I know that the principles and ordinances of the gospel will bring us closer to Christ and make us more like Him.  As we faithfully do so all of our lives, we will become even as He is.  I know that God's plan is perfect and applies to all of us.  If we live it and follow it, He will give us all that He has.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true and contains a fulness of the everlasting gospel.  Time and time again the Spirit has shown to me that it has the answers to all of our problems today.  I know it is true, and I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. 

Elder Facer
Short note from Sister Call:
We went to Elder Facer's District Meeting last week.  He did so well.
He is a natural.  I told him upon returning home that he needs to teach at the MTC.  He would also be an outstanding seminary or institute teacher.  Great things are in store for him.  I am also so grateful for his piano playing abilities.  I have called upon him many times to help me out when teaching the missionaries a new song or how to lead music etc.  We are sure going to miss him.  I have come to love "my little deacon"!  Elder Facer will have to tell you the story behind that one!  Thanks for raising such an awesome son and sharing him with us. 
Adios........Hermana Call

Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Weeks

Well being a district leader is a lot more busy than just a normal missionary.  There really isn't even that much more to do, but it's just exhausting.  This week we did interchanges twice, I had two interviews, one of my own investigators, and a near crisis.  I suppose that's just all part of the whole leadership thing.  Unfortunately, we had lots go down in the district, and almost all of our baptisms fell through.  Two decided to postpone their wedding, one needed a special interview and didn't show up, and one hadn't really quit smoking.  Great.  We ended up with just one baptism, and will probably end up with 9 as a district in May, which is fine, but not nearly what we could've had.  Also, a new elder in the district who is also new to the mission was feeling really discouraged and wanted to go home on Wednesday, so I helped him a little and President Call did the rest.  He's doing fine now, but it was sure rough while we were going through it.  It's true what our missionary manual says that leaders are much more sensitive to the needs of the elders they serve. 

Aside from that, we had a mostly normal week.  Working was a little hard, but we have some promising referrals for this week, so that'll be nice.  Ward choir is improving a lot, thank goodness.  My first district meeting went over well, and I feel like my teaching is continuing to get much better all the time, especially when we go and teach members.  I think I'll be a pretty good home teacher because it's just easier for me to teach members the gospel.  I'm continuing to improve my chess game and more importantly, gospel knowledge and understanding, so things are going well on my end, even as difficult as they are. 

It's strange to think that Tara will be graduated before too long.  I always thought that that was the last big happening before I get home.  I guess really it's Father's Day, but still, it's just so close. Crazy friends like she's dealing with are really just better off left alone.  I discovered that myself.  You still have to be nice to them, but you don't have to hang out with them and struggle through date planning and other such calamities.  So Scott sold his truck, huh?  I think that's a Mexican thing that they find a car they like and they just keep going until they get it.  I've met several people here that tell me the story of how they got their car, and it always seems to involve falling in love with the car, searching for years to find just the right one, and selling everything they have to buy the car.  I hope Peru goes well for Lys and Manuel.  I'm imagining this will be their last trip before I'm home.  I still doubt a little that Manuel's family will accept my Chilango accent.  Brigham's really wasn't that noticeable compared to mine. 

I know that this is the Lord's work.  He directs it and guides those who participate in it.  I know that it is only possible through His Son, Jesus Christ.  His Atoning sacrifice is the only way for us to be saved in the Kingdom of God.  I know that as we live the gospel, we will receive the blessings that come through the Atonement.  I know that the Holy Ghost can always be with us if we are worthy of His companionship.  I know that He will lead us into all truth, give us the words we need to say, and inspire us to use the talents and gifts that God has given to us for the benefit of all of God's children.  I know that the church has been restored in these latter days.  We are so blessed to have grown up where the gospel was taught freely.  So, too, must we freely share that which we have received.  I know that doing so is an absolute prerequisite for our eternal happiness.  I love the gospel, and I love the Savior.  I love this work, and am so grateful that Heavenly Father has allowed me to take part in it for these last couple years.  I know that He has used me as an instrument in His hands to bless His children that needed me. 

Elder Facer

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Final Countdown (enter sweet keyboard riff)

Well it was sure great to see and talk to everyone last night.  It felt different from the other calls in that it used to feel like "well now it's over until the next phone call", but now it just felt normal to talk to everyone.  It's just starting to hit me that I'm in my last transfer and I'll be home before we know it.  Thanks so much Sister Shirley for letting me borrow Alyssa for a while.  Happy Mother's Day to you and mom and all the other mothers out there.  It was really fun to see all those neices and nephews.  There's a chunky little baby here in Tequex, but he's got nothing on Alex.  He's huge!  Avery's really cute, too, but I prefer quiet babies that like cuddling.  It's ok, though, I'm still excited to meet them in person and be a real uncle instead of just a vague, distant, fake uncle. 

It was a decent week for missionary work.  Finding is still difficult, but we're working hard.  Elder Smith basically knew he was getting changed, so he got lazy the last couple days, but I did my best to keep him going.  Now I'm with Elder Gutierrez.  He's from Chiapas, has been out for 7 months, and seems like a cool guy.  He's been a member all his life and his parents were converts.  He finished high school, worked a little, then came on the mission.  He had been in San Juan del Rio (by Tequisquiapan) for his first 6 1/2 months. 

It feels a little different now finishing up and being a leader.  I feel the responsibility, and it motivates me to keep improving.  I think it's also really humbling for me to realize the trust that the Lord has in me to put me in this position.  I know most missionaries see it as a form of going up levels and being "above" others, but I feel just the opposite.  Just like Christ, it came to me that this is so I can better serve others, not so I can be better in my own eyes or those over whom I am now steward.  I'm excited for this responsibility and the opportunity to finish with the trust of the Lord and His approbation. 

I know that the Lord knows us and loves us.  I know this is His true church and gospel.  There is no greater knowledge or doctrine in all the universe, and we are so blessed to have it so freely today.  I know that obedience will bring us all the blessings we need.  God wants to bless us so much, but He requires our obedience to His commandments in order to receive those blessings.  I know that living the gospel and dedicating ourselves to this great cause bring us true happiness.  If we don't do it, we simply can't find that joy.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true and contains the fulness of the gospel.  We need to have a testimony of it in order to overcome the trials we face today. 

Elder Facer

Monday, May 6, 2013

Psalms 27:4

Well we finally had someone in church this week.  His mom and sister are both members, but he and his brother and dad haven't wanted anything to do with the church.  The last couple of weeks his girlfriend broke up with him, he got really depressed, and his parents kicked him out of the house.  Needless to say, he had been humbled and prepared to receive the gospel.  His name is Erick (I don't know why they spell it that way in Spanish...).  He's quitting smoking and drinking, and he's just progressing really well right now, and it's fun to see.  We also have some good prospects for this week for new investigators that look really good.  Things are starting to turn up a little, so that's fun. 

We had an excellent temple trip on Tuesday.  It's been a year and a half since I've been, and there was so much that was so good to remember and learn.  I just have such a strong testimony and love of the temples, but I'll write about that in the Ward letter.   

It's starting to hit me how close it is to the end.  There's one week left for the last generation, then I'll be the missionary with the most time in Mexico out of everyone.  6 weeks more and I'm gone.  It's nuts.  At the same time, though, it feels right.  I feel like I've done what I needed to do up until now, and I've made incredible strides in myself as a person, so I'm satisfied thus far.  I need to just give my all these last 7 weeks and that'll be enough. 

Skype will be on Sunday at 5:30 your time.  Be there or be square.


Here's the Ward letter: 

Windsor 7th Ward, 

This week we had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Mexico City Temple.  It's been a long time since I've been to the temple, and it felt just so good to be back in that sacred place.  I came to understand several things more fully while I was in there including the following:

1.  The temple is literally the Lord's house.  It is one place on earth where the resurrected Savior can appear unto all of His faithful saints.

2.  The temple is a place of instruction and revelation.  As I sat in the Celestial room, I prayed for several personal matters for which I wanted further guidance.  The Spirit flowing in that room was so thick that I could feel it.  The Lord answered my prayers and enlightened my mind, bringing a profound peace.

3.  The temple is a refuge from the world.  Missionary work isn't easy.  I'm quite constantly extremely tired or busy.  Entering the temple, I felt all the weight of my calling fall off my shoulders as the Lord carried them for me for the hour and a half we were in there.  I wish I could explain to you the sweet feelings of peace and relief that came with that.

I know that the same blessings and more are available to all of you.  Most of you may not really understand the blessing of having 2 temples within 15 minutes of your house.  If you want to live up to your full privileges and blessings as a member of the only true church on the earth, be worthy of a temple recommend and go often to the temple.  I testify that there is no holier place on the face of the earth than in the temple.  I know that your lives will drastically improve as you make regular temple attendance a priority instead of a commodity.  I love the temple, the convenants we make there, and the Spirit that abides there. 

Elder Facer

I know this work is the work of God.  I know that He has prepared me and strengthened me to be able to do it.  I simply can't without Him.  I know that He sends the weak and simple to do this work so His mighty hand is manifest to all the world.  I testify that God is our Father, and Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son.  He is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know that His Atonement covers all pain, injustice, and sin that will ever befall us.  I know that we unlock the blessings of the Atonement through repentance and the ordinances and covenants of salvation.  There is no other way.  Nor is there another way to salvation and having an eternal family.  I know that the family is central to God's plan, and we are so blessed to be in a family that has the gospel.  I don't think I can think of a greater blessing in my life besides the Atonement.  I'm so grateful for your love and prayers.  I need them, and I feel them.  I love you all, and look forward to seeing you son.

Elder Facer