Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter #25

I found the debit card. It was at Galerias, they saved it for me. When we study with the assitants they come to our apartment. This week we studied with the zone leaders. They don't bring stuff (packages or letters). I get the letters from Grandpa and Grandma from dear Elder. Sadly I already have a resistance band. I cant do much with it. It does a little more but it's not the same as weights in the gym for sure. 
Wow Connor that's awesome, 30 is way good. (Comment for his brother Connor who received a 30 on the ACT first try.)
Well this week we contacted a dude from Romania. That was cool. I studied with the zone leaders. They are way cool. On Sunday us 4 missionaries (Elders Mendez, McInnes, Toro and Andrew)gave talks. It was actually way cool. I didn't even read anything except 2 quotes from General Conference and it was a talk for like 9 minutes in Spanish. I talked about hastening the work of salvation by going to the rescue of others. It was really cool. I used the talk from Chi Hong Wong in General Conference with a little bit different spin, Matthew 7:21 and said that just because we go to church, scriptures, pray, have a good calling, doesn't mean we are doing all the will of the Father. To do His will we need to bring others to Christ. When you rescue others you can be rescued. It was about the need of home teachers and vistiting teachers, and preaching the gospel. Then I said we will one day stand before God and He will tell us that He put a lot of people in our path to help and lead to Christ and then will ask us if we helped them. We will "Rendir Cuentas" (which I have no idea how to say in English).(Layne says it means held accountable.)
Then today we ate with the stake president and his family for the 3rd time this week. This time we went to a restaurant called comicX.  It is so cool. There are superhero statues everywhere. I forgot my camera but I will see If I can get the photos from the other elders later so you can see them. It was so cool, but also a huge temptation because they played lots of my favorite songs there and they had tv`s with Avengers and then Dark Knight... so yeah.
Oh and we invited the daughter of Jose Luis to church and she actually went which was way cool. We also passed by a person that has always told us "some other day" and this time he let us enter. He told us of all his problems physically and temporally, we gave him a blessing and then talked briefly about Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. Then he accepted to be baptized on February 8. Hopefully he will actually progess and learn more. His name is Javier Ramos.

It was cool to see you guys
Love Elder Finlinson
                                                     Andrew's Preach To All Pictures :)

                             The Stake President's Family at the ComicX Restaurant with the Elders.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Letter #24

Interview was good. (With the Mission President) We have them every 3 months. The Christmas Devotional was really good, our songs were really good. I have them recorded, but can't send videos so you´ll have to wait a couple months to see. We sang a combination of the First Noel and Away in a Manger, and after Silent Night (in Spanish obviously). For Christmas I don't know what we will do. We have a lot of invitations to member houses so we´ll see. Haha its all good, I dont need the gifts from home.(His Christmas package still hasn't arrived.) I honestly keep forgetting that its even Christmas soon. It's hot and every day feels regular. I have accidently almost put half our appointments on Christmas, but then I get reminded. I can skype for 40 minutes. Hopefully all goes well! According to the mission rules I can only call family. Sacrament was completely normal (started late and not many people (less and less every week)). 
That has got to be the coolest nursery lesson ever!! I actually teared up with that. 
 Connor pull it together, just take your braces off already, I don't know why you like them so much! Oh well I guess Cole likes braces too, so you two can be little twins. Hopefully Katie can be more tough than me, I babied my finger to the end of the earth haha. What happened to Grandpa? Tell all the grandparents I love them and I hope they´re ok.  Sweet for USU!!

Brief summary.

We did a service activity with the ward for the illegal immigrants headed for the United States from other countries, I felt very conflicted. We were doing service, but for people who were cast out of their country for being criminals and are headed to the US.
We had a ward party and Jose Luis went with one of his daughters that we invited. They said it was really fun. There was karaoke, dinner and a dance from 7-11:00 at night.
The we rocked the Christmas Devotional with our songs. 
Jose Luis story-
We felt the spirit really strongly in the lesson with him because we asked a lot more questions and in general followed the spirit completely. In the end we  invited him to baptism which he accepted saying "yes, I think I will be convinced by January 18." I responded "We dont want that, we want God to answer you so that you know." I invited him to pray asking specifically if this date he should be baptized in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He prayed with all his heart and the spirit filled the room even more, which I didn´t know was possible. At the end of the prayer he just sat there. I asked him how he felt and he just started to cry. He received his answer from God. The spirit really will guide you to what needs to be said and done. 
We also studied with the Assistants to the President. 

Solid week, Love you

Elder Finlinson
               Elder Candelario (Andrew's trainer), Andrew and Elder Toro (Andrew's trainee)
                                   A Christmas card from the First Presidency of the Church.
Alamedas, Prados and Valle Dorado zones at the Christmas Devotional.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letter #23

 They will have a Christmas dinner party and Dance. It starts at 7 and ends at 11. So we won't be able to do much if anything. ( I asked if they were going to any ward parties.)

That's some flipping amazing weather I`m missing right now! I would love to see the temple lights. I have only seen them once maybe twice,and I was young when that happened so I don't remember much. I would also love to go to the temple. That is one thing I have wanted to do a lot. That's crazy that Connor(Geslin) left. My area right now is the area closest to the CCM in Mexico. Its like 40-50 minutes. Haha it looks like you probably should write to him every once in a while. I hope I was a good influence and a good friend... I really like that idea of who is Christ to you. It's a way to personalize Christ for each person. I should be able to get the package on Friday. On Friday we will have a Christmas devotional and my zone will sing 2 songs. Things I have eaten that I love is Guava Juice here. It is the best. I also like the carne asada and chorizo, it's tasty. There is also a type of spaghetti that is really simple with no sauce that I like. Also Tacos al Pastor. I can't describe it, but it's good. 

Mexico traditions are the Guadalupe day. One of the 12 days of December they celebrate the virgin with fireworks and other stuff. We had to be in casa at 5:00 that day. In December they have like 5 small holidays instead of Christmas. And also Christmas Eve is the biggest holiday in December, not the actual Christmas day. 

I had splits with Elder MacInnes this week. He barely speaks any spanish, but it went well. I was able to understand the people and communicate what was needed. I have actually been told like 4 times this week that my spanish is good. I still have an accent though apparently, that's one thing I want to change. The work this week was a bit harder because we had almost no time. We had meetings every morning this week. We worked with members though in the time we had. Even though almost all of our appointments fell, we were able to find other people to visit. The members are the key to mission work. Also we went to visit the less actives and inactives and we found some new people. Some of these people we don't know if they are baptized so we can maybe work on that. 

The highlight of this week was the whole zone went to Villa del Carbon. It's a little pueblo with a little branch there. All the wards went with missionaries to knock doors and sing songs to the people that answered. It's way up in the mountains and it reminded me a lot of Utah in the mountains which was awesome. Also where me and my companion went we hiked up the mountain to another part of the pueblo. It was sweet to go hiking too. The funniest and cutest thing happened though when the missionaries there brought over a little girl like 8 years old and they told me that she wanted to meet all the American missionaries. She was really shy about it, but it was cute.

Well talk to you next week.
Love you
Elder Finlinson
                                                               Andrew's district
                                     Some of the missionaries in Andrew's zone that went to Villa del Carbon.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter #22

Training is going pretty well. It's not too hard. He already speaks spanish, it's really the part that he is a seminary teacher and because of that he knows a lot. He just needs to know to be brief and clear instead of telling people the whole thing at once. Really it's just refinement. The investigators are difficult. We haven't had a lesson with José Luis in almost a month (even though he comes to church). Alejandra keeps saying "little by little I´ll be ready, but right now I´m not ready to be baptized." and she doesn't want to change her job either which is hard. Nobody went to church. The rest are really hard to find. We are working really hard to find new people right now. 
Zone Conference was cool. It was 2 zones with President Titensor. We get instruction for basically 6 hours on how to be better missionaries. We also eat food cooked by the President's wife, which is flipping good. The General Authority is Hno Tenorio. He is like 79.( The one they ate with last week.) I have only worn sweaters honestly. The thing is that it will be around 45 in the mornings (freezing) and then it gets up to around 80 in the day, so I never know what to wear. Elder Mendez is from Ecuador. I haven't been doing much on P-day. Really it's hard to do anything. Since we live in a rich area, we don't have money to do all the stuff. I am hoping that my package will arrive this week because I will be going to the offices tomorrow and I have an interview with President on Thursday. So this week I would have 2 chances to pick it up before Christmas, but If not, I don't know when I could do it. 

Wow Katie, nice hustle. That's the way to break a finger. Playing sports and keep playing through the pain!  

I dont know if you all have seen the "He is the Gift" or not, but I would think so. The mission has hit this system full on. We have to hand out 10 pass-along cards everyday to non-members. We will be doing this until Christmas, I think. The video is pretty cool and if you analyze the scripture John 3:16 you can get a lot out of it about the love of God for us. Right now we are trying to get the members excited to share the Gospel and this," He is the Gift" thing is really helping. It's a really easy way to share your testimony with friends, because you are talking about Christmas! Through this we have been contacting everyone, in the streets, others in houses of investigators that don't listen to us (they usually answer the door and then say that the person is there or not and then close the door), taxi drivers, pizza delivery guys, everyone. And if the socially awkward me can talk to random people about it, then you guys can certainly do it with your friends ;) 

Also this week I did splits with Elder Santiago  because Elder Toro went to the consolate. We went to his area and at the end I found out he was trained by Elder Jessop!! He said that Elder Jessop was his best companion in the mission and he still writes him every week. I also found out this week that I will have splits with Elder Mendez and Elder MacInnes tomorrow. I will be with Elder MacInnes ( two new white guys) so we will see how that goes. I´m not too worried though, I dont speak perfectly, but I speak well enough to get around and the people understand me. And fun fact about tomorrow, I complete 5 months of my mission!

Thats all for now. 

Love you
Elder Finlinson

 Just in time for Family Home Evening...Click on the picture and you will have an instant Family Home Evening lesson. Great way to focus on our Savior, especially during this season.
Funny fortune cookie Andrew received. Translated it says," Kiss the person sitting next to you." A bit awkward for a missionary! ;)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter #21

I think that I will be able to skype on Christmas but I´m not sure. I dont know anything about what will happen. 
With Jose Luis we can't have an appointment with him for anything, he is always gone. The last 10 appointments with him have fallen. Even though he attends church, he can't get baptized without the lessons. In the church he said he doesn't have the testimony that this is the correct church. He also told us that he thought that someone was pressuring us to baptize him, so that doesn't sound like a good sign. Alejandra is doing great. She couldn't go to church this Sunday, but she does have the testimony and experiences to back it up. I think she will be the first baptism honestly in my mission. We also committed another person named Lilia Gonzalez Espinosa. She has already read almost all the Book of Mormon. We´ll see how that turns out. 
That´s crazy that Connor's (Geslin) farewell already passed! when he read his call it seemed like forever away, but now he is almost ready to go, Chandler too! Thats crazy to me how fast time goes by. Thanksgiving sounds like it was fun. Here thanksgiving was just a regular work day. Nothing special. I hope that Logan gets in to Dixie and can play some football. That would be amazing!! I also love the quote from sacrament meeting of "Never let an earthly experience disable you spiritually". ( I heard that in a sacrament meeting I attended this past Sunday and sent it on to Andrew) That's way cool, and I can share that with a lot of people here. 

This week we ate with a former General Authority in our ward. He was a 70 and has had basically every high up position there is in the church. He gave us a lot of insight in the mission work. We also had a meeting with the Mission President and he said something really cool. "The Keys to mission work reside with the ward and their leaders, the keys of the Mission President are for the missionaries." He stressed the importance of the members in mission work, which I am seeing now more than ever. This week it has also started getting cold in the nights and mornings. Overnight it will get to about 40 degrees and we wake up and get out of bed at about 50 degrees. I think I might write earlier next week, so FYI.

One thing I would like to stress is the importance of a testimony. In the definition of a testimony it is knowledge and then a spiritual confirmation. We need to read the words of the prophets and go to church, etc... and then pray to receive a confirmation of what we learned and God will send the Holy Ghost upon us to bear witness of the things we learn. Everyone needs to get their own testimony, so that is an invitation for everyone. 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson