Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, March 30, 2015

Letter #38

He receives letters. ( I asked if his companion received letters and support from his family, because he is the only member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in his family.) Originally they didn't want him to go, but they let him go. His family doesn't really support him, they write him. His girlfriends family has supported him a lot. Carlos... I don't think he will progress. The other 10 (investigator's) are two families of 5. One family has difficulties understanding, but they want to learn. The other family is a bit more difficult. They have a lot of questions and they have a daughter who doesn't believe in God and a gay son... They gave us food for free today. Its funny though, I think the gay dude has a crush on Elder Scott... I left the puzzle because I didn't have room. Now we have to wash our own clothes on p-day, so from now on we will only have about 15 minutes more or less ( to do anything except study and prepare for the coming week). 

For my studies I just read the scriptures and preach my gospel. Sometimes the pamphlets. We can only read certain books. I read a bit of Jesus the Christ and found that it doesn't help me much to teach the investigators so I don't read it. (I don't have it either). We aren't allowed to read that book of Joseph Smith.( The History of Joseph Smith by his mother Lucy Mack Smith). Only Jesus the Christ and 2 others that I don't remember. The mission is super strict with what we can do. 
That story is crazy, I didn't know about the Far West war. ( An excerpt from a family history story that I sent.)

This week was interesting. We found less actives by contacting people in the street. One is a family of 11. 5 of them are members, so we hope to be able to teach them. We taught them once and they said we could pass by their house to go to church. We hiked 20 minutes uphill to get there to find that they "had already left and we would find them there" they didn't show up. The other we found is named Juan Camacho. He is a drunk who lost everything. His family, house, and job because he was a drunk. Well now he drinks more because he is depressed. He just wants friends and hope. 

We visited another less active family the familia Rodriguez Mosqueda. I got mad for the first time in a lesson. We came in with them to teach them and they wouldn't let us talk. They sat there complaining basically about how other members aren't perfect and so for that they won't go to church. They did that for about 45 minutes until I had had it. I interrupted their complaints and asked them (a bit aggressively which isn't good, but like I said I reached my limit) "Whose church is it?" That shut them up and they responded that its Christ's church. Then they started to apologize for not letting us talk and the hermano began to tell us about the spiritual power that missionaries have. He said he wants to feel that.....and then said he will Never return to the church. That made me really sad because they are a sealed couple.

The invitation, think about whose church it really is and what that means to you.

Love you
Elder Finlinson
Three "Generations". Elder Morfin (trainee), Elder Finlinson, and Elder Candelario (Andrew's Trainer)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Letter #37

Elder Morfin and I are good. He is from Chiapas Mexico and is 20. He has been a member for a year and a half and is the only member in his family. Its almost like having a baby. I am learning patience because he needs help in a lot of things, but he has the disposition to learn more. We haven´t been able to find Carlos this week. Technically the rainy season doesn't start until May or so, but it has rained almost every other day here. Audon y Elizabeth are ok. They were out of town this weekend. We have another appointment with them today. The goal is that Elder Morfin invites them to be baptized. Thomas and his mom haven't been attending church (they are the members in the family) but they want to share the gospel. We need to help them exercise their faith. I haven't heard of Alejandra recently. I have no way to know.

Elder Scott still is my zone leader and is training another person (Elder Toledo) to be a zone leader. Elder Toledo arrived in the mission with me. For p-day we have almost nothing of time. We live 25 minutes away from where we have to go to eat and do shopping. The most free time we have here on p-day is 35 minutes, like today. Today Elder Morfin wanted a nap, so I was cool with that. There are no hikes here, literally there is almost nothing to do and there is a rule that we can only be with one other companionship. Only 4 missionaries together. And there aren't teenagers that we know in Xahuento except one (Thomas, but he works all day). ( I asked Andrew if he plays ball with teenagers in the area or other missionaries or something on p-day because he never says that he does anything for fun on p-day. That was his response.) Elder Espinoza is in a different area.

I prepared my testimony and tried to upload it to facebook like they told me (with permission from president) and to send it by email, but nothing worked. ( This was in response to my telling him that for ward conference they were trying to have Andrew bear his testimony through video but it didn't work.) My clothes are good, and yeah I got the dog tag, its sweet!

Cool stuff of Xahuento. So this month we have had the focus of finding new investigators. We have been taking advantage of every opportunity to find people. I noticed something. We had changed the way we were thinking. Constantly trying to do something more. With that God helped us. This week we found 10 new investigators and not only that, instead of having to contact people in the street, people have contacted us. I can really say that I have seen the hand of the Lord in the work this week. Training again is cool. Elder Morfin wants to grow and get better. He feels behind because he only has a year and a half in the church. His testimony is really strong and that propels him forward. We have had a focus of learning this week.
Ether 12:27, 37 
I had never seen verse 37 before. I knew verse 27, but 37 I love. "and because you have seen your weakness you will be strengthen"

That is the invitation for this week Ether 12:27,37 recognize your weakness, then ask for the help of Christ

Love you, 
Elder Finlinson

PS: There aren't photos this week because this computer is horrible and doesn't recognize my camera. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Letter #36

Flip, you visited every place in New York! That sounds so cool!

We taught Carlos, but it didn't go well. We were caught off guard and didn't teach with the spirit. We are just hoping we can have one more chance with him and this time with his family, not just him. We contacted the inactive aunt, she is full blown catholic. She thought Latter-day SAINTS meant that we believed in the catholic saints... She left the church because nobody visited her when she was sick. (members say they visited her)

Transfers are this week. Elder Espinoza will go and be in a trio. I will train again. Elder Candelario is now the presidents assistant. We never know who we will train. We show up at the meeting Tuesday morning and they tell us there on the spot.

The holiday was interesting. The people said it was super busy, but it was basically just fireworks every other night. On Saturday night there was a ton all through the night, so it was harder to sleep. It was raining almost everyday this week, so they couldn't do the pyro-musicals (they shoot fireworks with the music).

Well this week was a bit harder. We didn't have many lessons so we just looked for new investigators. We looked for old investigators that had been taught, we contacted people on the way and we asked everyone if there was someone else that we could help and teach. We set a lot of appointments, the majority fell, but we had one on Sunday. We had the posibility to find 17 new investigators Sunday, all the citas fell, but we felt to return to one of them and we found the family. We taught them, Audon and Elizabeth and there 3 kids. We didn't have a ton of time so we couldn't invite them to baptism, but they are really nice, (so nice they offered us a big cup of coffee) and we have another appointment on Tuesday. 

Highlights of the week. Seeing little kids (7, 8) driving motorcycles by themselves in the street. Seeing a 12 year old kid driving a huge truck by himself, also seeing a family of 5 on one motorcycle. 

La invitacion. read Matthew 4:19,20. (I think those are the verses) Jesus invites some fishers to follow him. They respond immediately and follow Christ. They leave their nets and follow. What are our spiritual nets that impede us from following Christ now?

Love You
Elder Finlinson

                                                                 His former district.
                                          One of the bulls that was part of the parade and then lit up with fireworks.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Letter #35

Well this week was better, we had more lessons and found 2 new investigators, Ester and her daughter Alma. They didn't go to church though. The only ones that are going to church can't be baptized because the divorce takes forever and the other is only home at night on Saturday and Sunday. We couldn't teach Maria Fuentes, or Carlos and his mom this week. The reason why.... This week is the biggest holiday that they celebrate in Xahuento and Tultepec. The week where they burn the crazy firework bulls and have Fireworks all night. It is the celebration to worship the Catholic Saint of the Firework Makers.... Yeah apparently that is a thing. This saint protects and helps the firework makers to have work. Literally 65% or more of the people here make Fireworks for a living, all year long. This week is their week of rest more or less when the people just drink a bunch of micheladas (special kind of beer with Chili sauce). Pretty pointless, but basically nobody can do anything this week because the people are either not home or drunk. People came from all over, Canada, U.S., Japan and more. The holiday ends on March 16 supposedly. Look it up on the internet.
I did receive the dictionary and that thing is crazy, I will be learning words in Spanish and English. I had a cool experience though, we were looking for the house of an inactive and we knocked on a door we thought could be right, it wasn't, but we decided to contact the lady that answered, we figured out her sister had died and she didn't understand why, we gave her the pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation. Later this week we returned and found out she read it and her mom is reading it. She was interested and so we tried to put an appointment. She can't right now because she has to take her daughter to the hospital everyday for a month. So we gave her the pamphlet of the Restoration and told her we would pass by later. I then felt to ask her if she knew any members. She said that her aunt was a member. Turns out her aunt is an inactive that we didn't know about so that was cool.

Thanks for the story that was sweet. Elder Scott and Elder Espinoza and My misión leader were surprised, Elder Candelario, not so much. He already knew I was a man.(About the pepper challenge they had last week.) In Alamedas we had a salsa of pure habanero that we didn't know was habanero. Haha that's funny that they did a challenge like that with the peppers. ( Connor and some friends.) We also did a chubby bunny challenge. The one with the marshmallows, this Sunday when we ate with our mission leader.

Also I don't know why, but my misión leader told me to ask you if you could send Little mini missionary dolls. (one that is a Mexican)

Thanks for everything
Love you
Elder Finlinson  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week #34

My birthday was basically normal. We celebrated a different day. From the president I got a snickers and M&Ms. The interview was good, we gave a report on our consecration to the work of the Lord. We found one more person to teach. I will explain later in the letter. There is a holiday coming up where they burn all the big bulls they made. (Like 400 bulls of fireworks) The dictionary didn't arrive this week. 
First off, I have realized how much of a handicap I have as a missionary because I didn't do Family History. That is huge in the mission right now, so encouraging all to get going on that. I was also wondering if you could send me a short story of family history every once in a while to learn more of my ancestors. 

This week we had a lesson because we contacted a person named Maria Fuentes. Turned out later it is the Aunt of our Mission leader. She has heard missionaries before and didn't want to listen again, but she accepted one more time. Our mission leader and his family said there is little hope to help her because "they have already tried". We had the lesson and it went well, I felt the spirit. Then she said we could come back this next week. A few days later our mission leader asked us what happened with his aunt. I asked why and he said " she is different". Then Sister Fuentes (the sister of Maria) said yesterday that Maria wants to hear us now because the "white boy brought a spirituality that made me feel something." So I guess the lesson went well. 
Story and tender mercy of the Lord. So on my birthday we were walking down the street at night and a drunk guy stopped us, his name is Carlos Flores, he's 22. He backed me up against a fence and started swearing, then it was the craziest thing. All of a sudden he couldn't come closer. He stopped right in front of me. Kinda weird, but I had never felt safer in my whole mission. I felt power and confidence. After 20 minutes he asked me if I could help him stop drinking. I said yes and we set an appointment to go to his house. When we went his mom answered and asked "are you here to help my son?" We said yes and she thanked us a bunch of times and then said she wants to hear us with her son on Saturday or Sunday this week. The Lord protects his missionaries.

On Saturday we had a meeting with our mission leader and he brought cake. The missionaries sang to me and then started chanting bite the cake (because I guess that is a tradition here). I went to bite it and they shoved my face in. So yeah... that happened. I don't have photos of it, but the others do mostly. Then yesterday we ate with our mission leader and we did challenges after eating. They wanted to see if we were real Mexicans, so they took peppers and prepared them to be hotter. Then we all took bites. I am Mexican and didn't cry. Elder Scott did and Elder Candelario was super close. Elder Espinoza is Mexican. Then we did the cinnamon challenge. I didn't win. 

Challenge for the week. In the area plan of Mexico it says, "Who needs to feel my love today?" We are to ask ourselves that and pray to know who during the day and then look for opportunities to share the love basically. I invite you to do the same. 

Love You
Elder Finlinson

P.S. The birthday song here is eternal. It's like sitting there awkwardly for about a solid 2 and a half minutes.

                                                                 Birthday Celebration?!
                       He said, "Thanks to all my friends and family for celebrating my birthday with me."