Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, May 25, 2015

Letter #46

We were not able to shake his hand (Elder Bednar). He had another meeting after. I liked being outdoors and doing something for p-day for the first time in forever (even if we couldn't wash clothes last week). We are the only mission that is not allowed to be in a group of people. We can only be with one other companionship and always in church clothes. I haven't read that story yet. ( A family history story I sent to him.) I knew what it was before, but I didn't want to pass up the opportunity.(Eating parts of the cow head and cow hoof.) From vocal point I like Lead Kindly Light, Nearer My God to Thee, I Stand All Amazed, basically all of them. I've given warheads to our ex mission leader, Elder Toro, and the missionaries in our ward, a family of recent converts,  less actives, and a family we ate with because kids love candy. I recorded almost all of them. Its hilarious seeing there faces.

Yeah one inside joke is something you probably wouldn't find funny, but for us it is... see in every lesson or training meeting we have they teach us a Doctrine (an eternal truth revealed by God for our eternal progression, answers the question "why"). Every single meeting we have had the past 4 months the doctrine has been that God is Love. So now to answer every question that is what we say. And we have to resist laughing when investigators say that for them God is love. 
There is also a super funny joke I heard about a Mormon, Catholic, and Jehovah´s Witness. I will tell it to you in 13 months. haha

Oh yeah weird story a girl in our ward that is 15 basically said she wants me to come back for her and was saying she wants to marry me... that scared the crap out of me. My companion was laughing until he realized it wasn't a joke. I kindly said that we had to go, and we left swiftly.

So this week appointments were dropping like the rains in Utah. We had put 6 baptismal dates this week, but 3 didn't go to church and there date fell. It was an investigator that´s family is inactive. She is 17 and has a kid. Her "husband" is inactive. She reads the Book of Mormon, prays, and says the Book of Mormon is true, but then didn't go to church and I am almost sure it is because nobody would go with her. The three other dates are the eternal investigators that have to get divorced. They committed to be divorced, by August. We were able to find some less actives by contacting people in the street. They were hesitant because they haven't seen any members or missionaries pass by there house in 5 years (when they got baptized) .We entered their house and gained their trust easily because they talk a bit of English. We cracked the ice and found that the mom has been wanting help with her son who is basically the devil. He just steals, beats, and does drugs. So we will help her with all that. 

So reading in the Book of Mormon this week I have seen a lot about the church of God in the past. I would like to invite you to read Mosiah 18 and see what we promise to do when we get baptized and some promises that we receive.

Love you, 
Elder Finlinson

                                              Finally able to go somewhere on his p-day.

                              His shoes...not sure they will make it another 13 months. He thinks they will.
                                         The outfit he sleeps in to protect him from bug bites! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letter #45

I did receive the package, I love the music and I have started reading the family history stories. Thank you so much! I have started using the warheads.... :)
If you could send sunscreen it would be nice. The sun just burns here. And it costs a lot of money.

What I like about my mission president is that he really does care for every missionary. You can feel that every time you talk to him. My favorite smell is when we walk past a tortilleria (where they make the tortillas here) it smells really good. Least favorite... I don't like the smell of beer and tobacco everywhere.

Cool story. So I have now tried chicken feet, and this week I added on to the list eating cow head and cow hoof. (cow head is delicious, cow hoof is disgusting). (I asked him how he ate it. He replied the cow head was in a taco and he wasn't sure what part of the head. The cow hoof was in a tostada and he said the texture was what got him. It was a cross between jello, hard meat fat and something else. He said it was really nasty.)

So the rainy season has begun and that's always fun... jumping rivers and walking in the mud of Xahuento. This week we were able to find more people to teach, but the thing is that nobody progresses. People just like to learn, but not act. I will focus this weeks letter on the visit from Elder Bednar. It was awesome. He starts explaining to us how God is hastening the work and that they have ipads for missions in 3 continents in the world and that soon they will have iphone 6+ instead because its lighter. He explains how it will be so much easier to serve with the new technology and then tells us that "it is not our time". I understand that it would be bad for us to have items like that because it could put us in danger, but he kind of got our hopes up for a second. He then taught us about the pattern of revelation. That we have to be agents to learn. He didn't do a talk or anything. He was "planching" everyone.(I asked him what planching meant and this is what he said, I don't know in English. It is like he burned us all. He told us what's up. Something like that ) He said that when you write a talk you cut out the spirit during the talk. In that time you are more worried about giving a good performance instead of teaching by the spirit. He said if you give a talk maybe do a 3x5 card and that is it and to prepare yourself, study the material so that the spirit can tell you what to say when you are at the pulpit. 

I also learned that we have to be our own agents. He asked us, "How many of you have said that a church meeting was boring?" That statement says nothing about the meeting, but a lot about us. It means that we are there as objects to be acted upon and not agents there to act and to learn. As we seek the spirit and go to church, read the scriptures and pray as agents, we will learn by the Holy Ghost what God wants us to learn. 

We also went to Teotihuacan today. (The pyramids) but I don't have my cable with me so I will send pictures later. 

The invitation is to go to church as an agent. Constantly "asking, seeking, and knocking".

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

                       Mexico City North Missionaries and Mission President with Elder Bednar

Monday, May 11, 2015

Letter #44

It was great to talk to you guys again. Well if you could pray for Rosa and Justino, they need to get divorced and married so that the process goes quickly. Also for Nayelli and Giovani. They are close to accepting baptism, they just need a little something more. That's great that you are starting your scripture study again! I am in Mosiah 19 in Spanish, its not everyday, but almost. 

This week we worked a lot with members. We are not getting discouraged, but motivated. We are seeing the trials and the difficulties and they help us to try harder and grow. We are contacting more and asking for references of people to teach more efficiently. We are growing our love for the people we serve by learning about them and really searching the way to help them. We have seen the results increase and I am feeling the guide of the spirit more abundantly!

I love the Book of Mormon. I can honestly say that it does bring strength and that if we read with faith, we will be able to receive the guidance that God wants to give us. I was studying today the faith. There are some key points to faith. Elder Bednar said they are: 1. assurance (hope) 2. Action  3. Evidence. I was pondering on this. Sometimes we start with little faith, but when we start to learn and "feast upon the words of Christ" our faith and hope in Christ increase. We begin to Hope for things in the Future and for that we start to Act in the Present. When we take that leap of faith we receive  "the testimony after the trial of our faith" or the evidence that Christ will help us. Following that process of hoping, acting, and seeing the evidence, along with constant feasting on the words of Christ will help us to return to the presence of God and our capacity to support the trials of this life will be expanded. 

The invitation is that you can start this process by "feasting upon the words of Christ" daily.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

As I have been in the mission I have learned a lot about families and that we are given the family that we have for a reason. I know that I have been given the mom that God knew that I needed. Thank you for all your support and love even though I may have resisted at times. 
Happy Mother´s Day
I love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, May 4, 2015

Letter # 43

Chicken feet: nasty little things. There isn't meat, it is like fat and hard skin. Yeah you suck on it.
The man who accepted a baptismas date is never home and says he is really busy right now and probably can't do much until the end of May.  We are going to see when we can skype, we hope to do it on Sunday at 5, but it will be one at a time. 40 minutes. I´m excited for Vocal Point (music we sent to him). I don't know how many letters I receive each week. I collect the letters once a month normally. Things are good with my companion. Sometimes he gets homesick a little and its hard to get him to talk to the people (like contacting and stuff) he's more shy with that stuff. We are friends and all though. I found a scripture to help him yesterday, it's Matthew 19:29 I think.

 I can't respond to much because this computer is trash. That is why I couldn't write much. I also don't dare plug in my camera here to send photos. Also they have crappy holidays here called Kids day, teenager day, and young adult day. All in May and end of April. It's like Mother's day or Father's day.

Which talk is that? ( I sent him some quotes from a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland Ensign Nov. 2005)

This week something cool happened. I went to the junta de zona and Elder Toro was there.(Elder Toro is the first missionary Andrew trained.) He is in my district now. So really what is happening this week is a little hard. All the people we are teaching  aren't progressing. They won't accept baptism, or the Church. We are having to almost start over again. We are contacting a lot more and are asking for references but we don't have a lot of support from members here. We are doing all we can to find new people to teach. We are also doing more service hoping that that will soften the hearts of the members. All in all this week was hard. The appointments were dropping like crazy and I´m not sure what I can do. I am searching for that revelation right now.

The invitation. This week I have read about gaining a testimony and conversion. I would like you to read the talk from David A. Bednar about testimony and conversion and also Helaman 15:5-8 The first verses say that the people were converted and what happened as a result of their conversion. The last verses say how we receive a testimony.

Come ready on Sunday with questions and things to share!

Love you
Elder Finlinson

                             Older picture of Andrew and the Mexican pictures this week.