Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, October 26, 2015

Letter #68

I don't have photos of here still. Sorry.

I did hear about the storm, but nothing passed here. Interchanges we meet somewhere and then change companions. Nothing too fancy. To go to a new area All the missionaries go to the offices and there they find their companion and head out. 

We will have a zone meeting this week, we will teach Laws and Ordinances. We go to a district meeting every week, and interchanges almost every week.

I haven't been able to use the object lessons still. I am a bit confused with some of them. 

I don't know what they do here for dia de los muertos because it still hasn't happened. Normally we have an earlier curfew on festivities.

The favorite thing I ate this week was enchiladas en salsa verde. My least favorite, I don't remember..

My favorite thing of Elder Toledo is that he has fun as he works. Nobody ever said that work can't be fun. 
We saw lots of miracles this week. We have found a lot of investigators (20 in these two weeks) not many are progressing. This week though we did have a 2 families in church of investigators and an inactive. 

Elder Toledo and I were thinking of how we could help our zone most. He had said the zone had a lack of faith in the work. We talked about it and thought we needed to start with us because we didn't have anyone who could be baptized in November (5 attendances before baptism) we set a goal to find 2 people who would accept a baptismal date for November. We worked hard and prayed and the first 4 days of the week almost everything fell. Then all of a sudden we ate with a family that we didn't know. We found out that they weren't members and had investigated the church a few months ago. They wanted to come back, but didn't feel comfortable. They accepted a baptismal date after church on Sunday. It strengthened my testimony that if we have a goal and do all we can do God will prepare the way to do as he has commanded. 

2 cool experiences this week. We knocked on a door thinking it was the house of a new investigator. It wasn't... A man named Vicente answered so we presented ourselves by name and I said, "We are representatives of Jesus Christ". Then Elder Toledo said, "What do you think about that?" He stood there for a bit and then responded, "Do you want to come in?" He was really responsive to what we shared with him. Also this week a rabbit peed on Elder Toledo. It made me laugh.

My invitation. This week we have taught about the family a lot. It made me think. How many families will really be eternal. To be together forever it means that the Whole Family has to live the gospel and make a huge effort. God makes the promise and we make the choice. We cannot force the family to live the gospel, but we do all we can to help them. I invite you all to think about how you are in your family and what you can do to be a family forever.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

 Grasshopper Quesadilla
 One of the District's in Tula (Andrew's Zone)
Elder Toledo (Andrew's Companion)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Letter # 67

I received the package. Thank you for what you sent! The painting, (*Andrew sent home a painting with a man he met from Provo who was in his area visiting his Mother) an old grandpa from Xahuento gave it to me. He was inactive for 5 years when I arrived and he got active while I was there. My last day there he wanted to give us something and he does paintings to sell in the streets so he gave one to me and one to Elder Morfin.

Mission traditions... sometimes they do tie trades, but I haven't done a ton. I gave one to Elder Candelario, Elder Toro, Elder Morfin, y Elder Urrutia. I received one from Elder Candelario y Elder Toro. 

I am living in a sweet area. Its a town hidden in the mountains. Its beautiful. Its a bit colder, but really pretty here. The ward is a bit bigger and the chapel is pretty big. The members give a lot of references from what I´ve seen, but it would be nice if they would accompany us a bit more. My zone is the biggest in the whole mission. There are 4 districts in my zone (28 missionaries). A typical day as a zone leader is a typical day in the mission. It is Sunday and Saturday that are a bit more crazy. This week we had to do 2 big reports (one we have to do every month, the other every week). It took us hours to do it all. We are also on the phone a lot because the missionaries call us a lot. We will have to do interchanges almost every week to reach all the district leaders.

This week was good. I ate quesadillas with grasshoppers inside today. They were good. Grasshoppers taste like unflavored popcorn basically. Besides that, we worked. We found a lot of new investigators, but not one came to church. That was hard. I am still getting used to the area. Its really big and I didn't know more than half of the missionaries in my zone. A funny experience was in church. We were learning about eternal families. A grandma entered half way through the lesson. Her 33 year old daughter was also in the class. All of a sudden the grandma raises her hand and asked the teacher if there was a website where she could find LDS single men. The women started laughing, but she was serious. Then the class started talking about finding a potential partner on the LDS singles site (the majority of the members in mexico are single mothers or mothers with a non-member spouse). 

This week I want to share with you the fact that the Lord is hastening the work. Moses 1:39 says his work and his glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. If we think He finished his work by just making the plan of salvation it isn't true. He is hastening his work by INVITING people to come unto Christ. The mission purpose says that... Our purpose as missionaries is God´s eternal purpose. We must invite people to come unto Christ because if we don't we are not helping God in his work and his glory to  bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of Every Man. We must look for these opportunities to share the gospel and act with faith.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

Monday, October 12, 2015

Letter #66

It was cool being with Elder Morfin (in the same district). He would have to be the companion who is more like a friend. We are a lot alike.
I didn't have room for the Christmas decorations. My shirts and socks are hanging in there, but my pants are dying. Songs maybe more instrumental stuff or Christmas music if there is more, but if not its all good. Sometimes I put pictures or quotes on the wall. For my companion maybe a tie and some candy. Also warheads would be great.

That is awesome that Brother Daniels is doing that. That is Magnifying your calling!! (Brother Daniels is the Young Men's President in our ward and he takes any young men and young women who want to go to the temple to do baptisms every week.)

I am eating with the members every day almost. I haven't eaten anything weird lately actually, but where I am going it is likely.

Well this week there were changes. Elder Ramirez is going and I am going. They will bring 2 new Elders to open the area tomorrow. I am going to Tepeji, Tula as a Zone Leader. Elder Toledo (my zone leader from Tultepec, and is from my generation of missionaries, is my companion.) It should be cool I think. From what I have heard the area is a good one. I am excited to be with Elder Toledo we get along well. He's from Oaxaca, but he grew up in the real city of Mexico City (the capital). 

This week was great. We were able to help Angeline to get baptized. Her family is part non-member, part inactive, and part active. It was amazing. Also this week I would like to share an experience we had. I was in exchanges with my zone leader Elder Knighton in my area. At one point all of our appointments and back-ups had fallen and we didn't know what to do. I started looking at my agenda to see if there could be anyone else. A family of 5 passed by and we said, Hi. I kept looking in my agenda, but then felt that we needed to talk to them. In my mind I thought "No they are already far away and walking fast." But I told Elder Knighton we needed to talk to them. We caught up to them and talked to them. They immediately invited us to there house. We shared the Restoration with them and they accepted to be baptized! We must always be willing to follow the spirit.

Also this week I have thought a lot of what to share with you all. What came to my mind can apply to everyone in different ways, but will be directed to those preparing to serve missions or serve God. We must be spiritually prepared at all times to help people to come unto Christ. What is the preparation that we need? Many think it is to study the lesson we will teach right before we teach our Sunday school class, missionary discussion, or meeting. It is an important part, but not the most important. The preparation we need is Living the gospel and keeping our covenants. That gives us spiritual power to share what we must share and teach what we must teach. 
So for those of you who hope to serve a mission reading Preach My Gospel will be important, but more important will be your experiences of living the gospel. That makes things come from our heart and not from memorized information.

Love you
Elder Finlinson

 Last District meeting before the changes.
Angeline's baptism
Who's that Pokemon?!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Letter #65

My favorite thing about President Titensor is that he really cares for our well being. We have strict rules, but it is all for a reason. His love for us is felt when he talks.

A verse that has impacted me recently was Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;. It explains how I am seeing many things in my mission, many good, some bad. But all things I should apply and teach for generations to come. Also Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Well this week was good. We had more lessons and the Lord protected us from danger.  It wasn't anything too dangerous, but yesterday I was going to report to the zone leaders, while standing on the side walk after an appointment, they didn't answer and I saw some people on the other side of the street. I felt the Spirit say to go over by them and I assumed it was to contact them. We crossed the street and suddenly a big fight broke out right where we were previously standing. It was amazing because little things this week helped me to keep on pushing. Something that a member who just became active said was, "Lots of times we look for the excuses not to do something, (not to got to church, obey the commandments etc,) instead of seeing a reason to do those things. I applied that this week. Honestly this change has been one of my hardest. The area was "dead", the members didn't have faith, and to top it all off my companion doesn't help me...(he is basically here to pass the time). With those things it appears like my hardest area, but during this time I have not felt alone or abandoned. I have felt loved and supported by God, family, and friends. 

From the conference I loved a few things. One was the invitation from Larry B Lawrence to ask God what is impeding me from progressing. I tried it out and he was right. The Holy Ghost answers in a personal way and sometimes in a funny way. Also I thought about the messages. From a "Living in Utah" perspective some of the talks don't seem as necessary. D Todd Christofferson shared why we need to go to church. Something that in Utah is normal, here in Mexico its an essential message because a ton (even members) don't think its important or on the other hand think its all we have to do. 

My invitation has to do with some common trends from the conference. 1) Become what our Heavenly Father wants us to become. 2) Keep the Commandments, they are from a Loving Father. 3) Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. I have been realizing lately that I will have to change things when I get back, especially with my behavior on the sabbath day and music. The commandments from God bless us and help us become what we Must Become to return to Him. I invite you to analyze your behavior on the Sabbath and make the arrangements necesary to keep the sabbath day holy. 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson
                                         Andrew's Zone...Atotonilco South...Small but mighty!