Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter # 16 Great lessons on Christ.

Oh thank you for having me included in the magazine, that's very kind of you. (We will be featured in a local magazine on Christmas traditions. I told him we hold a picture of him so he would be included.)  Sounds like it was a good week! I kid you not the weeks fly by. It seems like it is Monday every 3 days. I did the math and I`m already 1/7 of the way done with my mission which is crazy. And when we talk at Christmas I will be almost 1/4 done! Basically that is crazy stuff. 

Well this week I had intercambios (exchanges) again. That day we had not set appointments, but somehow we had two lessons with members that day and put a baptismal date for a man named Sandro Hernandez. His family is all members, but he isn't. His date fell on Sunday though because he had work. The next day we had a lesson with Jose Luis and put another fecha,(date) his didn't fall. Then the next day Alejandra and Juan Manuel accepted a fecha bautismal. (Baptismal date) Their's fell on Sunday too because they didn't go. We are going to talk  with all these people later today to find out what happened. On Saturday I studied with an AP and a zone leader. It was way cool. In a one on one conversation Elder Bautista told me that I have been called of God specifically to work in this area. I have been prepared for this for a long time and now I`m here. That was way cool to hear. He also said that this is the hardest area in the whole mission. To have one lesson a week here is normal, but to have as many as we are (even though it isn't a ton) is amazing.

Seeing Ferrari's and stuff is just getting normal.

I studied Jesus this week and it was amazing. I did 4 studies. The first was when Christ was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. Even in His circumstance (betrayed by his own, suffering all, rejected by his own, and later killed) he still did the will of the Father. Then I looked at the ministry of Christ. The first word he said was "repent". I looked into why he would say this and I found that that was the best way he could have shown his love. Repent is a change to the will of God, to have hope, be filled with the love of God. Then I looked at John 21:15-17 (feed my sheep) we should all feed the sheep of Christ. "¿Pedro, me amas?" "Si Señor, tu sabes que te amo." "Apacienta mis ovejas." He said this 3 times. It's not an invitation or suggestion, he made it clear that if we say we love Christ there is only one option and that is feed His sheep. Then I looked at the birth of Christ. The shepherds and the wise men. The shepherds heard the good tidings (footnote says gospel) of great joy, that is for all people. Then they followed this. They made haste and saw the Christ child, then told everyone about Christ. The WISE men followed the star (light of Christ) in a dark sky (world). They said that they rejoiced when they saw the star.  Until they finally came to Christ and gave gifts. It is a little spin on it that I really liked. Its not doctrine, but I liked the relations in that story. 

They have Halloween on the 31st, 1st, and I think 2nd. I don't understand the holiday here. Everyone says its something different. It seems fairly similar. I don't know what we do on this day, hopefully get candy. I have to wait for zone conferences which we have once every three months I think.(in response to question of when they can get their packages.) We have one soon I think. 

Thats all folks
Love you,
Elder Finlinson 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter #15

I see that everyone is doing well at the moment. That's good. That sucks about the package! I`m so sorry because that is a ton of money wasted.(The package we sent wasn't able to be delivered because we had jerky in it..long story short, it was "abandoned", lesson learned! We sent another one out this morning minus the jerky.) Well week by week the investigators are different including who is progressing and who isn't. On Monday we visited some inactives that will be in our area with the stake president. We didnt know who we were going to visit beforehand but turns out she had been praying a lot because her husband is sick (he doesnt want a blessing though) Elder Candelario talked about the atonement and I told her about the power of prayer. She then started crying and President Centeno gave her a blessing of comfort and a blessing on the house, that was way cool. We then met a new member, we went to visit her and found out she was inactive and smoked all the way through her baptism. We talked about Christ and the atonement and watched the talk from President Monson from General Conference, she cried and then said that she wanted to come back to the church. She did attend church on Sunday, and we taught her sons on Saturday too. 
This week I hit day 100 of the mission so basically time is flying. I also saw a lamborghini and 2 ferraris.... in MEXICO!
We had a very powerful lesson this week with Alejandra (single mother of 2, and works in a bar) and Juan Manuel (Alejandra`s dad and is bed ridden because his diabetes took all of his strength in his legs, arms, and well basically everything. After not being able to find them the first month here, we have had 4 lessons with them. Juan has read a bit of the Book of Mormon and likes it, Alejandra didn't start until just barely (after we taught her more about the Book of Mormon) She actually wrote down questions and has been praying with her kids. She wants to receive an answer if its true or not really bad. We taught a lesson on the holy ghost and how receiving an answer can be a process. I cried in the freaking lesson because I`m a baby. I shared my story of having a prayer answered. At the end of the lesson she said she could feel something different this time. Usually she had been a bit tired during the lessons, but this time was very awake and had a lot of questions. We asked her if there was anything we could do for her. She said "Yes, pray for me that I wont have to work, and will be able to go to church this Sunday" She wanted to go to church and learned the power of prayer at the same time. We prayed, but then she got sick. So next time we have to pray for salud (I am guessing this means health) and work. We still had Jose Luis in the church even though we can never teach him, with his work schedule. 
This week was the primary program and there was a little girl a lot like Elsa in our ward. She was dressed as a princess and yelled the songs with all her might. 
Then to end off this week we ate with the Zeron Family. (we call them the swag family because they have a ton, I can't even describe the amount of swag they eminate) I talked with their 4 year old son who loves spiderman, he now really likes me and he kept calling me "Señor". I would reach for some food and he would tell me "Adelante Señor" (I think this means go forward or go ahead mister) every time. It was really cute, and he has the chubbiest cheeks I have ever seen in my life, even though he isn't chubby.

Also an invitation to all. At the end of each day count the blessings that you saw. You are more positive and you feel so much better at the end of the day knowing that God has blessed you.

Love you
Elder Finlinson
                              Andrew got a kick out of the sign..Asgard is where THOR lives.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter #14 Elder Flintstone

Language is pretty decent. I`m definitely not fluent, but I have now given a few blessings in Spanish. I like to see when other people have the confidence in me to choose me to give blessings. I sang “I Want It That Way” (Backstreet Boys) for them, and we talked about genealogy with them to hopefully spark an interest. Right now they just want to be friends. Elsi left for Veracruz for 2 weeks, so yeah, haven’t seen her. Lilia we can’t see much either because she takes care of her mom most of the day somewhere else. This week was rough we only had 2 lessons. which we found out is the usual for this area. We had been getting more, not a ton, but more.

Double date sounds fun! (Finlinson and Lambs) Glad the dads didn’t hurt themselves.

Not everyone has a native looking companion, but most do. They just need to have someone who is fluent in Spanish.

I heard from Riley this week. He’s doing well, money is tight for him too it seems.

Hello siblings. Glad to hear that football is doing well...(USU and Sky View) oh and I guess it’s cool to hear from you guys too. Hope your lives are all good and stuff. Watch some Harry Potter for me. 

Well this week. We had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) that fell through, but we found a new potential investigator named Adea. We talked with Lilia who has read a bit of the book of Mormon.  Then came the crazy part; we were walking to a house when a guy saw us, we talked to him, he said that his life was miserable and he had planned on committing suicide this week. We talked about the love of god and the plan of salvation just in the street. At the end he gave us both a hug in tears and then he walked off. That was amazing to see, I guess everything happens for a reason. There is a reason that the Family Home Evening didn’t work out.

One person called me Elder Flintstone, which is a bit closer. They`ll get there one day. I saw an Audi r8 yesterday which was dope! I got sick on Wednesday, but still worked. I found out why the next day. My filter on my water bottle was unscrewed a bit somehow and I had been drinking crappy Mexican water for a whole day and a half.  I saw the stray horses again and had my camera this time. We also taught the son of the Stake President (which is a tradition in their family to have the missionaries teach their kids before baptism) I didn’t feel ok with it unless we asked for referrals, even though we already have before. I asked after the lesson and they told us about a little pueblito (town) that isn`t even in our records. We drove through it with them and we will go and work there. Nobody there has talked with missionaries before so hopefully we can have some success even though it’s way off the beaten path. 

That’s basically me right now

Love y’all

Elder Finlinson

Update: Gerrardo and his wife, well their baptismal dates fell because they didnt attend church, and we can`t ever get lessons with them because they work a ton. daniel got frustrated and a bit depressed that his baptismal date fell and he couldnt get baptized on his friends birthday, so he isn`t motivated at all right now to do anything. We cant even find him right now because he is always gone with other friends.

PS quote of the week. A little kid we see in our ward (the same one that sat by me the first week with a tag) always says "Aunque soy pequeño, soy un misionero!" (Even though I’m little, I’m a missionary!). I think that’s so cool to remember. He wants to be a missionary now and he´s only 5 maybe.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another great week! Letter #13

District Leader is  Elder Tapiero. One person that we had a family home evening with came to general conference. His wife is less active and he isn´t a member, but their daughters are active. They all came. The other investigators couldnt come. For conference we went to the church 10 minutes early and found no one there. We had to set up everything in spanish until halfway through the first talk. Out of 4 wards in the iglesia only 15-30 people were there the whole time. Then we went into the secretary´s office to watch in English. I wasn´t able to watch Packer´s talk or Eyring in the last session, because the computer wasn't working. I also loved the first and last session. Elder Bednar killed it. I just want to show it to all of our investigators. I listened to the spanish ones in spanish and actually understood so that was really nice! I haven't heard from Riley in weeks actually. Daniel-No lesson this week, Jose Luis-No lesson this week, but we talked with his son a bit.  Alejandra- had a lesson on Leer Orar, Iglesia with her, her dad, and kids, Fam Cerrano- canceled because of a surprise interview, and Fam Cerrano- the kid decided to go a different route to overcome his drinking problem rather than with us. I hope that they can all come back to the church too. 
Elder Candelario said he likes sour punch straws, whatever those are.

Well Week in review
Wettest day of my whole time in the mission. I had to change my clothes because It looked like I had jumped in a pool. I literally poured water out of my shoes. Had a lesson with an investigator named Elsi and we brought a couple in our ward. When we arrived there the husband was inactive, but he returned. They both bore testimony and then we found out Elsi hadn't heard from her son in 3 years. She didn't know where he was or how he was. She broke down in tears and then Hermano Nuñez just bore his testimony on faith. It was so powerful! He promised her that if she sincerely prayed that night she would know something of her son. She started crying and said thanks. It was amazing to see him bear testimony like that. I gave my first blessing in Spanish to Hermana Nunez. That was sure fun. We also met a woman named Lilia. We just shared an abreviated version of the 1 lesson with her and after we explained a little about the restoration she said she wanted to know more and that she knew Joseph Smith had authority. Then we talked about the Book of Mormon which she immediately wanted to read. So hopefully she progresses even more. Cool story. The "fancy cheese" here is squeeky cheese and string cheese.
The craziest part of the week. We were talking with a family and they asked what we liked to do before our missions. I said music, to which Elder Candelario immediately said that I sing well. (Sometimes I sing to the songs in the house, or sing songs as we walk.) They then proceeded to force me to sing for them. They named off bands they liked and the first one they said was Backstreet Boys. They made me sing them a Backstreet Boys song in the middle of a panaderia... people started watching me which I didn't like, but they all clapped after. Who knew that the Backstreet Boys would come in handy. They invited us to their house to talk more about the gospel because of it.
All in all. Good week again. Crazy its already been 3 months! I´m 1/8 done! time sure flies

 Love you,
Elder Finlinson