Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some pictures to go with the letter.

                                                   Elders that were in his district in the CCM
                                             Some of the Elders from Skyview at the CCM
                                                               His mission area and...
                                                        A view from his apartment

Letter #7.

Monday is p day. We went bowling and shopping today and cleaned the house. There is so much I want to say but I can´t in so little time. I received a tender mercy from heavenly father the day before we left. Every Sunday they show a slideshow of the missionaries that are leaving. I told Elder Fraser 3 weeks earlier that if they played Army of Helaman for ours that it would be a tender mercy for me that God knows that I needed a little boost. Sure enough That song came on and I started to cry because i´m a bawl baby. On Monday at the presidents house they showed us the 20 seconds of courage quote. It was in spanish so I didn´t understand totally, but I got the idea of it. I had an interview with the president and he told me that the Lord has been preparing me for this mission since before I was even born. He also said that this mission will make me more than I can ever imagine. I also found out that my return date is June 22 2016.
I learned that its not safe to wear watches at all.... so that sucks, because I need to know what time it is. I went out with missionaries on Monday luckily Elder Colby was there with me, and now that I have my comp Elder Candelario from Las Vegas I live with two other missionaries. Elder Fraser from my district and Elder Mendez. That has helped me a ton. I am in the richest area in the whole mission by far! Like audi, BMW, and Porsche sales places are here. The houses are still right next to each other, but are usually 3 stories tall and packed with nice stuff. I lucked out. I also learned that on packages you should not write what is really inside it. Write "clothes, mission supplies, or candy".
The day I came out to the field in my new area it rained and hailed that monsoon rain all over my suitcases so all my things were absolutely soaked. Most of it has dried out, but others are kinda ruined. Oh well, I can´t do anything about it. 

So while here I´ve had deep fried pig skin. Its actually not bad. The members feed us everyday around 2 or 3 o´clock which makes the days go by faster. 
Some other experiences. First off, I have to give a  talk in Spanish next week. I don´t know how I can do that. 
The Lord puts us where he needs us. Once we walked into a fenced area which for some reason was open, as soon as we walked in, the door closed and we were locked in. In that street we got 3 contacts, a reference, and an investigator named Alan. The next time, my comp had some name written in his agenda, he didn´t know how, but we went there. turns out it was a member who had a non member friend over. We taught him and he said he wanted to be baptized. Too bad he doesn´t live in my area. We had to refer him to other missionaries. 
In sacrament meeting a little boy wearing a suit and a "futuro misionero" tag ran up and sat by me happily. We sang the songs together and he copied everything I did. It was adorable, the bad part is that I couldn´t really understand him. Oh well I´ll get better little by little.

Good to hear everything is going well at home. I hope my room is still a shrine to me. 

Love you
Elder Finlinson

Friday, August 22, 2014

Excerpts from a letter dated July 26th

We received a letter in the mail from Andrew that was sent on July 31st. So we now know it takes at least 3 weeks to receive snail mail to or from Mexico.He had only been in the CCM for about 2 weeks at this point. Here are a few excerpts from the letter:

"It's still weird to think I'm a missionary. I'll walk down the street and see 2 elders with tags and think,'Oh cool missionaries!' then I realize I'm one of them. It's really cool. For me it's still almost unreal to think I won't see my family or friends for 2 whole years. As of right now it just feels like I'm at a little church camp and will be back soon. I think that's why I haven't been super homesick.

 So 2 nights ago I felt like I should read my patriarchal blessing and my setting apart blessing. I noticed a lot about the importance of family throughout my mission. It said that my mission will be difficult and that thoughts about my family will bear me up. It also said to bear testimony often because I'm not just needed in Mexico, but home as well. Here's a little bit of my testimony in English then a bit in Spanish (not perfect Spanish but its the general idea.):

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that he loves us enough to give us families. I'm realizing now how blessed I am to have grown up in the church and to have grown up in America. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers, that we can receive personal revelation in our day. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that this is where I need to be. It won't be easy here, but I'm representing Christ and he didn't have it easy at all. A cool thing I heard from my zone leader is 'make the sacrifice now', these 4 words have been in my head a lot lately. It applies to the MTC and to the whole mission. In the MTC we have the option to study/do classwork/ and speak in Spanish...or goof off and play hacky sack like 5 people in my district are right now. Make the sacrifice now. Learn the gospel, learn the language and how to work hard so that when I get to the field I can hit the ground running. This is a serious thing. We are messing with other people's salvation right now and I can't afford to waste my time here at the MTC. It's just selfish to mess around here and cost someone's eternal salvation. Also make the sacrifice and go on a mission. Your decision to serve will  bless the lives of many.

(Spanish Testimony) Yo se que nosotros tenemos un Padre Celestial. Yo se que oracion es muy importante. Oracion puede contestar nuestras preguntas por medio de sentimientos, las escripturas, o las palabras de los profetas. Yo se que El Espiritu Santo es la mejor maestro. Yo se que Nuestro Padre Celestial tiene un plan por nosotros, y mediante este plan las familias peuden ser junto por eternidad. Yo se que en la mision yo represento Jesucristo. Yo se que el poder del sacerdocio es verdad. Yo he visto el poder del sacerdocio en mi vida. (2 days ago we gave Elder Colby a blessing. The Mexico City medical clinic said he had plantar fascitis. With this injury usually you don't walk for close to a month. We gave him a blessing and now he's healed.)

Haz lo Justo (Choose the Right)
Elder Finlinson

Monday, August 18, 2014

He made it!!!

                                          The new missionaries from the C.C.M. have arrived!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pictures from this week's email

                                                                  Austin & Andrew
                                                              Austin & Andrew before Austin left
                                                                  Cute Cousins
                                          Andrew's district before they all head out on Monday
                                                                     Mexico City
                                             Andrew liked the wrestling poster...and the car behind it!
                                                         Showing off his muscles!
                                                               "I have the force!"

Last letter from the C.C.M! Letter #6

I talked with Riley, he said he was a bit homesick, but I told him it gets better really fast. Its mostly just the first week. I hosted for the New Missionaries yesterday and saw Robert Ercanbrack, Taylor Griffin, Trevor Plowman, Josh Nieman, and Kolton Pierson!! All friends from Sky View. That was way cool to see. It doesn't really affect me much though because I am heading out to the mission field Monday at 7:00 in the Morning! Im at the end of my last week here. I got a card from a worker here that said there is a service that only ships to the Mexico City missions. it Thanks for the alarm, that will help a ton.  I might be able to email again on Saturday from what I hear so hopefully its true. I have gotten letters from both grandparents this week and some from you and dad i think.

This Week
Cold showers for 5 days, nothing new. I found out that there are like 11 latino missionaries going to North with us from the CCM. During a language activity where we are supposed to go talk to other missionaries and get fake references, My companion and i went and helped a female teacher who works here because she was holding a bunch of stuff to bring to her class which was far away. We bore testimony to her and she gave us a legit reference that lives in Mexico city!! She said if we found her again she would give us more for our missions! I learned that my night teacher's family lives in my mission and arent LDS so we have to convert them. So this week there was a huge World War Z virus that hit the CCM and overnight about 10% of the Missionaries were infected including two people in my room. We gave them a blessing in the middle of the night when I woke up and saw one in the bathroom struggling to stand. My companion and I were safe, but one person in our zone was paralyzed from the waste down because of it. the virus is now gone, but it was scary. I learned that you need to be clear with investigators, My teacher shared a story of telling an investigator to read 1 nephi 3:7 but instead they read 3 nephi 3:7. Read it there is a huge difference. Sunday I was called out of the audience to give a talk on the Fall of Adam and Eve. We had to write to talks for the week and I was hoping to talk on the atonement because I spent more time on that. But either way it was pretty decent I thought. I didn't really look at my notes. Monday this week we got our picture taken to go with my district. Its crazy that I''m leaving. Im pretty pumped and very nervous at the same time. 

We really dont do much during p day. Today we walked around and I did some american ninja warrior stuff with some things they have here randomly placed in the middle of nowhere. that was cool. I did like the salmon ladder and some other stuff. The district was very impressed. Basically I'm swoll. Gym is usually basketball which gets old fast. 

Its good to hear everything is going well at home. Have fun with school.

Elder Finlinson

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Letter #5

My companion's name is Elder Giles. He is way cool and is from Cedar City. He will be serving in Mexico City Chalco. Elder Colby is from Payson and will serve in my mission. I did receive one letter and the Dear Elder ones. Thanks for those. Most of my district actually hasn't received much except Elder Giles who's Aunts and Uncles send him a bunch of packages and letters. For the alarm clock, Instrumental, voice male, and if you could find the song "we are as the armies of Helaman" That would be much appreciated. It really is crazy to think that I am almost done with the CCM! I feel fairly ready to get out of here and can't even imagine having to be in the MTC for 3 months like how it used to be. I can almost say everything I want to say. There is still some mistakes in it, but I think it is still understandable. It was also cool because this week my companion and I taught a member. Our teacher said she speaks very fast, which she did. I felt prompted to have her share her favorite scripture with us since we were talking about receiving revelation from the scriptures. She shared one from Alma 37 (one of my favorites) and then she bore her testimony. I didn't understand all of it, but I could pick out words. One sentence I understood fully. She said that God is there for us in the Good times and in the bad. I really needed that at that time. It really proved to me to follow promptings immediately and listen to what they are saying instead of focusing on what you will say next. The ceiling didn't leak this time in the lesson. The rain wasn't as bad this week. But yeah the rain is crazy. Its awesome in class because I have been really trying to pick up the language. Usually in class practices the teacher picks the ones that are most fluent in Spanish, and this week I entered that group. That was a good accomplishment for me since others have taken a lot of spanish previously. 

Being District leader is ok. The start of this week sucked because one newly appointed Zone Leader won't work... Ever. He gets the other distritcts distracted too now and not just ours. Then on fast Sunday he snapped at me because I informed him that it was personal study time and not time to go to our casa and have tie trading party with a bunch of other people. I just took the words he said and didn't say anything back. I walked back to study. The branch president told me to keep the district focused I need to work through the hermanas in my group, Ive been doing this and it works much better. He still isn't changing much though. The end of this week was pretty good though. For p day we made our room dark and took a nap in our room with all the Elders from my district. We stole two unused mattresses from another room for two of the people. That was awesome. And I got my laundry done before 10 30 today. That made me happy.

Before family home evening just read 1 nephi chapter 19 verse 23. Thats all I got as of now. Most of the scriptures I've liked lately apply to mission work. Like the story of Ammon and I really liked Alma chapter 37.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

I look forward to hearing about your family home evening about the Book of Mormon. The book is amazing, and If you read it looking to be inspired, you can be every time. It is a really great way to escape the stresses of the world (It basically replaced music on my mission). It has helped me a ton to grow and I look forward to sharing that with others. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Here are the pictures I promised to post!

                                                                          His District.
                                                                Mexico City Temple