Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week #33

Zone conference was good. We watched Meet the Mormons in Spanish. Then we got instruction from the President and his wife and zone leaders. We learned how we need to work with members always and that the bishop is the key to mission work. Nopales are fried and with things like what you said. ( The cactus he eats. They use them in tacos, salads, soups etc.)

We got one new investigator. It was cool. We went to the house of a recent convert who is learning about preach my góspel. He was asking us questions, then I said he and Elder Espinoza could do a practice teaching me. Then in walks his family. His mom was recently baptized, but the rest no. Elder Espinoza and I taught with Thomas, the recent convert, to his family. Other than that this week was rough. We had every day filled with appointments and members to come with us. The appointments fell through and the members cancelled on us almost every time.

Jose Luis and Michelle got baptized!! (The investigators from his last area.)

I got the package with the testimonies and stuff. That was really cool to see. Thank you all so much for that. I thought that I would share my own. Right now my favorite scripture is Alma 37 verse 6,7. By small means the lord brings about the salvation of many souls. One small decisión can make all the difference. Saying hi to a dude in the street. Knocking a door one more time. Being exactly obedient, instead of in most things. Following the spirit one time. Also doing the small things like read the scriptures, pray, and going to church. These small things bring the salvation.

Also yesterday I woke up with a fever of 38.5 degrees. It got up to a bit more that 39 degrees celsius at one point. (102.+degrees fahrenheit) I couldn't go to church or work. I just sat in the house all day which was horrible because we didn't have anything of food. I feel a bit better today. I also have a cough and my body just hurt. We did shop today. (For food).

For birthdays we get a candybar from president. (I asked if the mission did anything special for birthdays, since his is this week.)

Love you
Elder Finlinson

                                                                      Prados Zone
                 Andrew said, "Twinkies were never lost they were just disguised in Mexico!"

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week #32

My companion is good. I think that after doing the same thing for 18 months he's hitting the burn out stage, that's all. I am trying to get his motivation up a bit. We are friends though. There isn't a carnival but there are a ton of fireworks. All The Time. They sell firecrackers and other huge fireworks to 5 year old kids to have fun. We continued the cleaning spree today. We couldn't get to the bathroom and we don't have stuff to clean it. The ward I attend is like 40 minutes walking from my house. It's in the area of Elder Candelario. We rode a bicitaxi after church one day with our mission leader to his house. I never didn't like cactus. I actually do like it.(He says he eats a lot of cactus. I thought he just kind of tolerated it but I guess I was wrong.)  In my mission it's a special kind of cactus called Nopales. We have zone conference this week and interviews with president next week so I think I will get it in the coming weeks if it's here. (His birthday package) The Ramirez Pacheco family was the family who welcomed me to the area. He was the Ex mission leader, and his parents own a restaurant and fed us for free when we passed by. ( I asked about the family from the picture last week.) Maybe you could look at the Area plan for Mexico in for an idea. The area plan is pretty cool and if the members were to do it, Mexico would grow a lot in the church. (Ideas for FHE)

Well today was day 12 of ice showers and I think my body is adapting to it. I think I might almost have 2 chest hairs now so I am pretty much a man...
This week we worked with less actives and 3 came to church. 2 saw a baptism after church and the other had an interview with the bishop at that time. She will be able to go with the young women to the temple next week. She is super excited. Really the family just needs a little boost to get going. Then I hope we can work with the dad who isn't a member. Our only chance of baptizing a person in February fell because the couple still isn't married and can't until the wife divorces her old husband (a huge problem in Mexico). We have been visiting another less active, he is basically lost. He has no testimony and now thinks the only word of God is the Bible, but only if it's in Hebrew (because Jesus was Hebrew..) He worships the Sabbath on Saturday and isn't willing to change anything. I think we´ll have to stop visiting him. We have set a lot of appointments for the next week and I hope that we can actually have the appointments. If we can, we have the possibility to find a lot of new investigators. 

This week in Gospel Principles we were learning about the Holy Ghost and a person asked why the devil works so hard when we try to get close to God. It is a thing I have seen a lot in the mission. The temptations rise for us and for the investigators. The devil does all he can to make us think that getting close to God is bad. It reminded me of two scriptures I want you to read and think about. The experience of Joseph Smith. JS-History verses 15-17 (what would have happened if he gave up when the devil came, and why the devil came so strongly) and D&C 112:13 (what happens if we fight through it.)

Love you
Elder Finlinson

                                       This is an old photo, but he didn't send any this week and I like this one!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week #31

I have ridden in a "bicitaxi", it's a normal bike with a cart in the back. And some of the garbage things are burros (the ones that grandpa was so excited about). We walk a ton. My first area was like 10 streets and this one is big enough for 4 pairs of missionaries. We walk anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour to get from one place to the next. Oh yeah there is a ton of fireworks all the time.(He is in the fireworks capital of Mexico.) Not the ones like in the U.S. They make like a giant animal (horse, bull, etc.) out of wood and metal with a ton of fireworks. About 10 feet tall or bigger and then they fly down the streets on fire.  The video of it I saw looked pretty nuts. I have seen the wooden animals, just not on fire.  It's true there's some missing fingers, I don't know why.(Ha,Ha)

Elder Espinoza if from Cuidad Juarez, Chihuaha. He likes Pokemon so that's good. There are just some things that are hard, there are some rules he doesn't want to follow or work more than is necessary. I´m just trying to be the best example I can, It's already working little by little. Elder Candelario still is zone leader along with Elder Scott my first zone leader in the mission. They are in the same ward as me and sometimes we eat together so that's pretty sick. The ward is a ton more organized, a lot bigger and more people. There are 4 companionships of missionaries in the ward. They want to put a branch in Xahuento alone so they sometimes have activities where the missionaries go and contact whoever they can in my area. Really the thing (area) is huge. My overall feeling is that I have a lot of work to do here. My area is a bit smaller than Smithfield and there are very few active members. There are less actives but without an address so they will be fun to find. 

The apartment is just me and him. It's more quiet, which for me is weird. It gives me more time to focus on the work though. I am doing my job better than before in Alamedas, especially with the Area Book (the records of everything we do). Now I am filling out everything not just investigators. The apartment was flipping dirty when I arrived. We cleaned a lot today and we have a lot more to do. The next p day is specifically for the bathroom...

I will do what I can to keep up with Elder Toro. The food here is good. It's basically the same. A bit more cactus though. We have less investigators than Alamedas right now. It's one family of 3 and that's it. Then we have 2 recent converts and a less active that I have seen. 

Mission President met his wife at BYU. She was the roommate of his sister so they got to know each other like that and then got married 6 months later. (He asks his Mission President a question each week with his letter so he can get to know him better.)
I haven't received the package yet, but I am sure I will soon.
And also happy birthday to Connor this week.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

           Vargas Family with Andrew before he left. The Grandpa is the one that hugged him and kissed                           his hand and said that he was always welcome in their home basically.
                               Alejandra one of the investigator's in Alamedas. His former area.
                                                       Ramirez Pacheco Family

                                       Andrew's new apartment and companion Elder Espinoza
                                                                 More of the same...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week #30 Letter finally arrived!

I didn't bare my testimony this week.( I had asked him if he bore his testimony in church.) Every week the same people run to the stand to bare their testimony. Wow the Churchball kings continue. I hope Caleb(a friend who was sick) and Cole are alright. That's when we learn that seatbelts actually have a purpose. Wow its weird that Katie is already in Young Womens. Thanks for the spiritual thought too. Flipping Seahawks, I wanted them to win. 

Well for the first time in my mission I am leaving. I´m going to Xuhuento zona de Prados. It's not on the mission map so I have no Idea where I´m going. My compañero will be Elder Espinosa. What I know of him is that he will be finishing his mission soonish. I will be señor companion. Elder Toro will train. Elder Mendez will be zone leader in Ciudad Labor. Elder MacInnes junior companion.

This week summary, 

Started out kinda funny. We now go the the Vargas´s house a lot because we also teach Alejandra there sometimes. In the house there is an old grandpa who always gives us a hug and says something like "Thank you for being an amazing representative of Jesus Christ and for being in my house." This time he hugged me and said with a laugh "Ah, my dear white boy! How are you? This is your house" and then grabbed my hand and kissed it. It was kinda weird, but funny at the same time. 

Alejandra: She confuses me. We taught and verified the Law of Chastity and word of wisdom after teaching the Doctrine of baptism and repentance. She finally admitted to having problems. We then had a lesson with the Vargas family and her about the holy ghost and recognizing an answer. In the end I thought to share my experience. In my life I have never had a "boom" moment of confirmation from God, but that my testimony came little by little. I didn't recognize my answer for 18 years, but now I know that the things I have learned and lived are true, I cannot deny them. She felt the spirit a lot, then this Sunday she didn't show up...

Jose Luis y Michelle: I know that they will be baptized. They are converted. Michelle also went to the New Beginnings with another young woman and her family. She took the initiative in asking her to give her a ride. She really wants to be a part. Jose Luis also said that after reading the Book of Mormon he has a change of vision. They are both doing great. Also today they invited us to eat with them. We ate with their family and in the end, the wife of Jose Luis thanked us for finding Jose Luis and changing him. She said that she has seen the changes in him and in Michelle. I hope that Elder Toro and his next companion can teach the whole family.

Well that is basically it for this week. I will need you prayers in this next area.
Love you
Elder Finlinson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week #30

                                                Andrew with some of the ward members
                              Elder Toro, Andrew, ward members, Elder McInnes and Elder Mendez
                        Elder Mendez, Andrew, Jose Luis, Michelle, Elder Toro and Elder McInnes
                                            Andrew with a sign saying, "See you soon Elders".