Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Letter #55

To get to our new area we took a taxi, a bus, and another taxi. 

I was able to say goodbye to most. (People in Xahuento he had been teaching and helping.) My companion is Elder Urrutia. He is from Colombia. He's 24 and likes One Direction! He's a great missionary. He loves to work and my weaknesses are his strengths. He helps me to get better. That's what I asked for in a companion. He has only been out 3 months in the mission, but learns every day. Half of his family  are members. I`m in Atotonilco south zone. The district is super small. The area is big, and super great. Like 85% of the people we contact in the street say yes. The people are really nice here. We are having a ton of lessons. We had 10 lessons with members and 4 families of Menos Activos (less active) came to church this week. We are finding like crazy. In the district is us, one other companionship in Xalpa, and the zone leaders. The whole zone here is the size of my last district...Elder Mendez from Alamedas is my zone leader so that's cool. The other elders I didn't know really. I already had my first district meeting. It was my best yet. It was interactive and the Spirit was there. We talked about the Book of Mormon and prayer.
I hope to be able to do more on p-days, but now we wash our clothes by hand so I don't know. And we had to deep clean the house today. This area has a little bit of poorness and richness. It's been really good here. 
We said goodbye to a lot of people in Xahuento. I arrived here and we began to work immediately. We have vistited a lot of people and are implimenting a lot of different ways to find people. It is great. The only thing is that the members don't trust the missionaries for what other missionaries have done here. 
I confirmed Eliseo a recent convert this week. It was really cool. I have been in a great mood here because everyone is so friendly. I thought I would have more time at night because I wouldn't have to call so many people, but we teach so many lessons that we fill out papers until about 10:20 anyway! 
While I was washing my clothes by hand today different things came to my head. One of these were song lyrics I think, or at least a cool phrase. "Sometimes you have to lose to win". I was thinking about how having to work like the people here will help me to gain other things. For example. I Lose a washing machine... but I win Christ-like attributes, patience, humility, and hard work. In the mission I will have the opportunity to become more like christ if I take advantage of every situation. 
I invite you to choose a Christ-like attribute and develop it this week.
Love you, 
Elder Finlinson
                                           Andrew and Elder Morfin...matching soccer jerseys.
                                                    Andrew and Elder Hansen...I believe a zone leader
                        Andrew, Elder Morfin and the sister missionaries that were in his District.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Letter # 54

* In bold are the questions I asked him this week. 
You do your laundry in your church clothes? We always have to wear church clothes. Have you done anymore exchanges within your District? I did an exchange with Elder Lopez this week in the area of Primavera. What have you been teaching in your District Meetings lately? In the junta I taught the restoration of the Gospel by Joseph Smith. It was more interactive and it gave everyone the chance to teach and share their revelations. Is Guadalupe still scheduled for baptism next week? Guadalupe is scheduled for August 2 for now.I was wondering if you printed out each letter and read most of it later or if you read each one and respond as you go? I read and respond as I go.

What tender mercies have you seen in your life this past week? Tender Mercies. An inactive named Adan. He is a 19 year old drug addict. We had passed by to visit him 2 months ago and then we couldn't ever find him. On Saturday we saw him in the street. We invited him to go to church and that we would pick him up. He said yes. He went to church for the first time in 6 years. 

Well they are closing Xahuento. I don't understand why. We were getting better and better in the area and we have people almost ready for baptism, but now Elder Morfin and I are going to other areas and there won't be missionaries in Xahuento. Maybe the Zone Leaders will visit every once in a while, but not often. Lots of people will be affected. Elder Morfin will go to the zone of Tepalcapa  East. I will be District Leader in Huehuetoca the Zone of Atotonilco. I am replacing Elder Scott in that area. I think the area will be good. I don't remember the name of my companion, but I know he is from Colombia.
This week was fun and hard. Lots of appointments fell, but we had fun and worked hard. It was hard that appointments fell and that they are taking us both out of here, and closing the area. It was fun because we always made the best out of every situation. 

Lately I have been studying about the Book of Mormon. I thought about the talk of Bishop Gerald Causse. Is It Still Wonderful To You?  He lived by the Eiffel tower for 22 years and never went. We have the Fulness of the Gospel in our hands. Have we read it? Do we study and love it? God has blessed us with the opportunity of knowing about his son Jesus Christ and how to return to his side. By the Book of Mormon God can talk to us in a personal way. 

I invite you all to treasure these things that God has given you. I invite you to study the Book of Mormon daily and I promise that as you do it you will Know that God loves you. By applying what the Book of Mormon says you will Feel in your heart with certainty that God loves you. Is it still wonderful to you?

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Letter #53

*The questions that are in bold were ones I asked him in his letter.

How did it go with the last invitation that I left you?

Does Elder Morfin attend the leadership meetings with you? He did not attend with me.  How long is your calling of District Leader? Do you need to stay in the same location for a certain amount of time as a District Leader or can you be transferred and still be District Leader of a new area? District leader is cool. It's hard but cool. I have no free time. I come home and plan and then call people until 10:20 every night. You can be transferred and be District leader. Did you go with both Zone Leaders on exchanges, one each day or just one of them for the two days? I just went with one Zone leader. Elder Buitrago came to my area. Did Guadalupe's son seem to be interested in hearing more about the Gospel and continuing to come to church? Guadalupe and her son loved the church. The only problem is that he is busy right now. Is she understanding things a little better now? I think so, she is doing good. I am excited to see how you will be helping in the open house of the Mexico City TempleOh yeah, we won't be helping in the temple open house or dedication. We will be able to watch the dedication in the Stake Center I think.
My answer to the question of the color of my parents eyes was my dad has blue eyes and my mom has the color of honey and green (hazel doesn't exist, that's pretty much how they describe it).

What is your favorite thing about Xahuento? My favorite thing about Xahuento is that I am in a ward with 2 other missionary companionships. That is super rare and we have a blast. 

This week we had some interesting experiences. We saw "coconut head" from Ned´s Declassified School Survival Guide" (This is a T.V. show in the U.S.) but it was a girl in middle school. Her hair was gelled and you could only see her eyes, mouth, and nose of her face. Also we saw a dude with a reverse mohawk in overalls chilling in the street. One time Elder Morfin and I got out of a combi (the local transportation) and I jumped out right after him. I then saw him look super confused as he turned around to see the combi. The door shut and he was about to start running. I asked him what he was doing and he suddenly changed. He didn't hear me get out, I was right behind him and then had caught up and passed him when he turned around so he never saw me. He thought that I had abandoned him and was about to chase down the combi. It was super funny. Then on Sunday we went to visit some people and I was about to knock on the fence when Elder Morfin says, "Oh NO!" A look of panic swept over him. He checked his pockets and his bag then looks at me and says "Do you have the keys?" Long story short we broke into our house yesterday. We unscrewed the window from outside and put our arm in and unlocked it. So I now know how to be a criminal. 

A miracle. We invited Viridiana to be baptized, but she was hesitant. Her mom in law said we are going to talk it over. They came to church and then there was a baptismal service. They saw the baptism and heard the service. After we asked her what she thought. She said, "I think that was what I was missing, seeing a baptism. I want to be baptized." She has a date for August 9th if she can live the word of wisdom.

This week I was studying a lot about the restoration of the gospel. I want to invite you to read Preach My Gospel chapter 3 "The Restoration of the Gospel by Joseph Smith". Think about how important that moment is in your life. By doing this and understanding that the priesthood and gospel of Christ are restored you will increase your faith and your desire to repent.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

                                                Andrew titled this one, "Hello! Sleepy Head!"
                                                        Two Santa's doing their laundry.
                                 The Fiesta for Princessa was a graduation from Kindergarten/ Birthday party. She is the granddaughter of a recent convert. We went for a little bit to congratulate her.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Letter #52

Justino and Rosa are waiting to see when their court date is. Shari is their 8 year old daughter who is waiting until her parents get married.

Katies random question, Answer:
Well yesterday Elder Morfin and I went looking for some less actives and we found 2 that are teenagers, one 19 and the other 16. Their parents and sister aren't members. We were teaching about our Heavenly Father and the families and then we asked if they had any questions or comments. Then the 19 year old asks me, "What color of eyes do your parents have?" It was out of nowhere.

This week we saw some cool things. I had a leadership meeting on Wednesday about the Restoration and we learned mostly about the dispensations. A dispensation is a time when the fulness of the gospel is on the face of the earth. When we understand that God has always worked in this way with the fulness of the gospel and then an apostasy we will understand the need of the restoration in these days. 
On Thursday we had an amazing lesson with Beatriz. She has had a closed heart this whole time and we didn't know what to do to help her. We began the lesson asking her questions and then she felt prompted to tell us something. It was a reason for why she needs the gospel in her life and we started to teach her about the atonement, the Book of Mormon, prayers, and the church. The spirit filled the room and we asked her how she felt. We helped her recognize the spirit and then she accepted a baptismal date. The only problem is that for some reason she didn't come to church on Sunday. 

Friday and Saturday I had changes with the zone leaders. It was cool to learn a bit more from them. 

Sunday Guadalupe went to church and brought her 14 year old son. We had never met him so that was cool. Guadalupe has a baptismal date for July 26! She has a huge desire to learn about God and to be a part of his church, but it is hard for her to understand everything. 

The invitation this week is this; Ponder on your testimony of God and Christ. How did you gain that testimony? Why is that tesimony so important for you? Then share it with someone in need.

If you could pray for Guadalupe so that she understands it would be great!

Love you
Elder Finlinson

                             At a Leadership Meeting with Elder Toro, Andrew and Elder Mendez
                                    Elder Morfin taking a nap while Andrew makes phone calls.