Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, September 28, 2015

Letter #64

It is a powerful zone. It's super small, but powerful. I love the district meetings and zone meetings with them.
Thanks for the ideas for lessons! And for the thoughts from church.

My old area Huehuetoca is prospering in the land. With 5 investigators with a baptismal date. All 5 Elder Urrutia and I found while I was in Huehuetoca. It's amazing to see them every Sunday with their smiles and desires to come unto Christ.

What food do I miss from home. Anything from the oven. Here in mexico they normally use the oven like they use it in the TV show "The middle". I kid you not. It is just a place to store things. What I would like to bring home with me would be Doritos nacho. They taste different here. It has a little spicy kick that I love. Also some candy bars. Mamut (its like a s´more) and milch idk how to describe it.

This week was a good week. Almost all of our appointments fell, but I learned things. I have been thinking about endure to the end and our covenants. Our covenants give us power from God to do what is right. We must think about what we are really promising every Sunday with the sacrament. Making and renewing covenants is the only way to receive eternal life.  We also must help others to make and keep covenants in order to act as Christ would act. 

I thought I would share a quote I heard from a less active this week. She said "We have the commandment to love our neighbor, but many don't even know who there neighbor is." Who are the people around us in school, ward, work, in the neighborhood? Many need help and would love a visit or someone to talk to. Before my mission I was shy and didn't talk to anyone if they didn't talk to me first. I realize now that I was breaking this commandment.

This week we will have the opportunity of hearing from the prophet and leaders of the church. They are the literal connection between God and us right now. I would like to invite you to prepare yourselves to receive revelation for your lives in the conference. Write questions, doubts, and think about your life right now. Then listen. Not just to what they say (although that is important), but to what the spirit will tell you. As we do this we can receive revelation from God in every moment of our lives.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

Monday, September 21, 2015

Letter #63

I was going to ask about Trevor Murdock. That's great! Also congrats for Braedon, the dude is a stud. (*Both of these young men received their mission calls this past week.)
Thanks for the activity ideas!

We taught 3 Family Home Evenings this week with members. One about temples, one about "The Gospel of Jesus Christ", the other about prophets. Yes I can print off things. 
We ask help from people in the ward to lend us there washing machine. (* Instead of hand washing.)

My least favorite sound. Every morning without fail at about 8:50-9:10 the gas truck passes by our house and about 5 men yell GAAAS!!! GAAAAS! GAAAAAAAAAAS! for close to 5 minutes straight. It drives me insane. 

The zone is now one big district. Some sister missionaries had emergency changes for safety reasons so now the zone/district has the two zone leaders, 2 district leaders, sister missionary trainers, and a new missionary trainer. I trade off teaching each week with Elder Milne now. I would like to share with you what we will focus on in the next district meeting, I was reading a talk from Kevin W. Pearson about enduring to the end. "Endure" doesn't mean "hang in there" it means  " constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in him". As we do this we can receive his grace. In this life we can do all we can to serve God and it won't be enough. We need grace (the infinite love and mercy of God that allows us to receive strength in this life and forgiveness for our sins.) We receive the grace of God as we Love God with all our heart. 

Cool story of this week. 
Friday 4 appointments fell, but we found out what God wanted us to be doing. We contacted a girl about 23 years old, turned out to be the daughter of a guy we had an appointment with, we set another appointment with her. Then we asked her if anyone else she knows might need a message about Christ. She told us of her aunt. We went to the store where her aunt worked and we just presented ourselves and said that the message we share blesses the families. She began to cry and said that she had had a bad argument with her daughter that morning and she was asking God for help. Not long after, we showed up. After helping her (she´s named Flor) we went and contacted 3 men around a fire in the middle of the road. When we arrived 2 left, but Roberto stayed and listened. We testified that families are eternal. He stared at us for a minute and then said come with me. We found it strange, but we followed him. We arrived at his house where they had candles and flowers and a photo of a woman. He told us that a few days ago his mother in law died and he wanted to know where she was. We talked with him for a bit about the plan of salvation and set an appointment to talk with his family. 

My invitation this week is that you can Endure to the End. Don´t just "hang in there" make the best of the situation and come unto Christ. That is the test of this life. The Lord has showed us the way and he will guide us along.

Oh yeah. I forgot. 3 people from Huehuetoca got baptized this Saturday. Lucila Villegas, and Cariana and Carlos!!!!

Love you
Elder Finlinson

                                        Decorations for the Elder Urrutia
                                    Three of the Huehuetoca investigators were baptized this past Saturday!
                                 The Cruz family baptism...Andrew interviewed them for baptism.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Letter #62

Yeah I realized Saturday that I didn't say happy birthday to Cole..... so yeah Happy late Birthday!!
Things that need to change in the area. The members. The majority go inactive or change wards because the members treat them really badly. We are working with the members right now. We will do Family Home Evenings with them and we also told them to invite friends to get to know the gospel. There is a bit of rain, but it's weird. When we leave the house it looks like it's going to rain. I tell my companion that today we won't get wet and we don't get wet. Yes it rains sometimes, but we somehow stay dry.

Things in common with Elder Ramirez. Not much really. In fact we don't have almost anything in common, but we get along well. With the lizards I would also like to teach more interactively and it's better with visuals and things. Maybe if you could read the mission lessons and think of how you could teach them with examples. Also if you could send another plan of salvation visual that would be great...

Ok well one "funny thing" I guess you could say for this week was when we went to teach Daniel (recent convert) and Mirian (his girlfriend and ex-missionary) They have a little dog in the house and it entered the room where we were. While teaching the dog kept coming over to sniff me and get attention like all dogs do, but then I started feeling something on my leg. The dog had mounted my leg and was "trying to get some action" with my leg. It did that like 4 times in the lesson until they took the dog outside. 

This week we set a lot of appointments with new people, but they either weren't home, or we taught them and they don't want to change how they are. So we will look for other ways to find people. We had a good week because the Mexico City Temple was rededicated. We got to watch the cultural event on TV and the rededication on Sunday. It was amazing. Elder Holland and President Eyring went. Something that stood out to me was a story that Elder Holland told. 

The saints started in Kirtland and were asked to build a temple. The men had gone off to war and the women, children, and senior citizens were left to build the temple. A little after the construction was complete the saints were run out of town. They arrived in Nauvoo and received the commandment again to build a temple. When they put the final piece on the temple, they were run out of Nauvoo and fled to Utah. 4 days after arriving in Salt Lake, Brigham Young said we will build a temple. Many asked themselves, why. They had already built 2 that they couldn't use. Someone asked Brigham Young why should they build another when they probably would be run out of town again? To which he responded, "I don't care. I dont know if we will be able to use it or not, but what I do know is that we must build a temple to worship our God. We must do today what God expects of us, we must be where he wants us to be Today. We cannot wait. For that we will build a temple." 
We are seeing hard times in Xalpa, but God wants us to keep going and do what he wants us to do even if we may not see the results in our time. My invitation is this; that you can do what God wants you to do because you want to show him your love, even if you may not see the results or blessings in this life.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

Monday, September 7, 2015

Letter #61

Elder Mendez is still my zone leader.  I need something. I need bead lizards I´m almost out. 

Crap USU better pull it together. Those are huge wins for Utah and BYU!!

The temple open house was great, first we went through the visitors center quickly and then to the temple. It is a gorgeous temple. The rooms are smaller, but there are many more rooms.

It is actually.(*This is in response to my being surprised that their zone had a problem finding people to teach. Because in Andrew's previous area they couldn't find enough time to teach all the people they had found to teach.) The problem of the mission is finding people to teach. God has helped me a lot to be able to find people. It requires a ton of work with less actives, members, obedience so that God can do miracles, and other things. Because since I left Huehuetoca they haven't found anyone and they don't have appointments set with new investigators. (*His district that is still in Huehuetoca.)

I talked about mission work. I focused on the atonement and the scripture 2 Nephi 26:24 (*I had asked him what he spoke about in his talk in Sacrament meeting the previous week.)

Xalpa (pronouced halpa) is right next to Huehuetoca. It is really spread out. Sometimes we have to take a combi for 25 minutes to get to areas. Honestly the area will be hard at first. When I arrived there was only 1 investigator and they can't be baptized because they have to get divorced from their old wife and then get married with his wife that he lives with. (The case of many people). My companion will help me with something. Seeing people how they can become and not who they are right now. My favorite thing about this area is that we live super close to the church. It's the first time in my whole mission that that has happened.

This week was a bit harder. Let's just say I am thankful for the promise that Christ bears our burdens when we are obedient. There are a lot of things that have to be changed here. I already know that I can't do it alone, so I will need a lot of prayers and trust in God. My poor companion has been in this area a while and he doesn't have much excitement left in him so I have been trying to be really upbeat and happy all the time. 

I was thinking this week about the will of God. There are things that He wants me to do, (serve a mission, obey mission rules/ commandments, etc) so that I can Be what he wants me to Be. Like last week I told you God looks on the heart. Not at what we do or how much we know. He gives us these things to do and obey in hopes that we change our heart and put off the natural man.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

 Loaded on the bus and ready to go to the temple open house.
 Kariana & Carlos
 Kariana and Carlos' children at the temple open house.
Majority of the investigators that they brought to the temple.