Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, November 30, 2015

Letter #73

Lots of missionaries in the zone are training (more than half), that was the biggest difference. Our investigators are doing well, but they are stuck right now because they haven't received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Almost all of our investigators are stuck there. They think baptism is good, but there is something that holds them back and its because they haven't received that little push from God. Karen, her son Francisco, and Nancy have baptismal dates for December 20. Please be praying for them.

The concert was a style of music that I dont like much its called "la banda". I haven't seen any nativities. The majority haven't done much for Christmas yet. Our month is interchanges almost every week (Fridays), a district meeting every week ( Wednesdays) except the week we have our zone meeting (the first Thursday). I got the shells from an investigator that buys them from a different state and then they make them little tacos.(The shells from the picture he sent last week.)

We don't do almost anything with the youth because they are in school on Mondays. If you could write him from time to time that would be cool. ( A former companion of his.)

This week was weird. It was average. Nothing huge, nothing bad. It was normal. We are working hard to make our lessons better. So far its working because almost all our investigators came to church this week. The only problem is that they don't have an answer from God that this is the truth. They believe its good, but they don't know with a certainty that its the only way to God. 

* I asked him if he laughed this week. This was his response, "My comp and I always laugh. It was also funny because the new sister missionary in our ward left her camera in the mission offices and a different missionary told us to give it to her. We had it for a few days and we took some fun pictures and videos with her camera before we gave it to her on Saturday." 

Things that I have learned this week. Our agency is essential. Many times we as missionaries don't contact because we wait to feel from God that we are to contact someone. But as it says in Preach my Gospel as we understand the Atonement more our desire to share the gospel grows. "If you have desires to serve God you are called to the work" D&C 4. Our desire is a choice we make. We choose if we contact someone, if we take a good decision or bad. We are here on earth to prove to God that our desires will be just and we will choose the good even without him telling us everything we must do. "He who is compelled in all things is an unwise and slothful servant and receives no reward." D&C 58:26 

My invitation is that you can Choose The Right when a choice is placed before you. 2 Nephi 2:27

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, November 23, 2015

Letter #72

Elder Ramirez did everything perfectly in exchanges. It was amazing, his companion said that he hadn't done that before, but since exchanges he has been really trying to be better. I still haven't received the package. If you could send a letter to Elder Urrutia that would be great. He is amazing, but his family is very very poor and I would love for you to send him a little letter. Those were nerf guns in the house of a different area. There is no Thanksgiving in Mexico.... :(  There is Christmas but it's a bit different. Normal then 3 kings come in January to leave the gifts and they get a few gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve.  We will have a Christmas devotional but we don't know what we are going to do still.

The weirdest thing I saw this week... I don't know if it's a Mexico thing, but I have seen a lot of teenage girls (16-22) with boyfriends like 35 years old or more. It's super weird... oh yeah also this week something weird was that there was a concert like a block from our house that we could see from our roof and also we heard it until 2 in the morning...

Also we learned this week that I will be with Elder Toledo another 6 weeks and that Elder Hopkins from Logan will be a District Leader here in the zone.

This week was MUCH better. We gave our all and a little bit more. This week we had a meeting with our Mission President and our Stake President to talk about the mission work in our zone. When President Titensor took us home he told us 2 quotes. One from Jerry Sloan. In a half-time he looked at the team and said, " We are winning, but you are only playing not to lose. We don't play not to lose. We play to win." That was awesome because it changed my perspective of setting goals as a missionary/person. Are we just looking to do the bare minimum or to really do all we can. Then President said that his friend went to boot camp once and when he was asked what he learned in boot camp he said, "The body can do much more than we think it can." We changed that statement this week. We gave all we could and a bit more.

Christ suffered and gave his ALL for ALL of us. It is when we give our ALL that we can receive what he offers us. This week we saw how God helped us, we had many members acompany us and we could help more people. 

I invite you to also give ALL you have and let Christ make up the difference. He doesn't expect perfection, but he accepts a consecrated effort.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

A shell cactus flavored, with honey and nuts inside. there were others we tried with shells of chocolate, strawberry, nut, bubble gum, etc. They were great!
Welcome to Tepeji del Rio

Monday, November 16, 2015

Letter #71

We eat a small breakfast, a big lunch, and a snack at night sometimes. Luis is the husband, he isn't progressing because he only works weekends in the D.F. (Mexico City). I think I will stay this change. In interchanges I have gone there and they have come here. 

Haha someone egged our house too!!! That's awesome! ( Our house was egged Friday night, apparently Andrew's apartment was egged too! Crazy that it happened in the same week.)

What I like about Tepeji is the people that we teach, and my companion. We have fun even though it is hard work here. A zone leader experience was in a district meeting I was able to talk with a sister missionary who has felt incapable. She doesn't know many things or scriptures, but I could help her to see her value as a missionary and what she can become. She was able to see what she does well for once instead of dwelling on what she didn't know.

I did have one experience in interchanges this week. I went with Elder Ramirez (my old companion) to his area. We taught a family of Christians who had studied and read the assignment, but not to find the truth. They looked for every scripture in the bible to contend. But in the end they couldn't contend with pure testimony. When we shared testimony with them they became quiet and I could feel the spirit in the room. We invited them to ask if what we shared was true and they said they would if we would. (We already have, but ya ok we will ask again... :)

This week was another HARD week. Instead of cancelling at the last minute, the members just flat out said no EVERY TIME. We are trying many things to help the members here, but without their help we can't teach our investigators or help them to feel very welcome in church. Also the baptism for next week fell. They didn't come to church and they broke the word of wisdom. :(

We aren't going to dwell in the past, we are trying to have faith and press on. 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson
 "We go hard"
 Tula Zone
 Elder Candelario, Andrew, Elder Toledo and Elder Nelson
Elder Candelario was Andrew's trainer, Elder Nelson was Elder Toledo's trainer. They are all together in the same zone for one more week. Then Elder Nelson goes home. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Letter #70

I went to Tula on Monday. Its about an hour away. They hold leadership meetings every month for zone leaders and sister leaders and once every 4 months with district leaders too. Elder Candelario goes home in about 7-8 weeks. Elder Nelson is cool, really happy and outgoing. 
All the missionaries invited, but almost nobody else came. They come for the training that we do and the practices. Bubble soccer looks sweet! Connor got his braces off? Also he does his hair different now.

My Sabbath is get up and get ready, go to ward council, church, take some reports from district leaders, go eat, get to work (visiting people, mission work) take more reports, add up the numbers and get to know the progress of the investigators in other areas, report everything to the asisstants, plan, verify with the zone how things went, get ready to sleep. 

Also funny story. We were walking to church and I said, "Good morning" to a person walking by. He responded, "Do you really think this day is beautiful??" I said yes and we started to talk. The dude was "high" (drugged) but it was funny because in the end we contacted him and he says, "Wow your eyes, your Face, YOU are UNIVERSAL, A MODEL!! And then to Elder Toledo he says," And you.... You have ALL the Attention my friend. I will make a movie with you two starring!" Ha ha ha it made me laugh.
This week was a trial of faith that's for sure. As missionaries we need the help of members, without them we can't do much. We had got some members to accompany us to every appointment this week and literally every single one said they couldn't help us at the last second and we couldn't teach the family or person. It was really hard. We did contact a lot of people and some are really good people that have potential to progress. There were a few super cool things this week though. 1. A family that we are teaching we couldn't teach this week (that isn't the cool part) it is Karen age 30, Francisco 8, Gerardo 6, and Angel 5. They had gone to another state for a day but while there someone took their car to the impound and they couldn't get it out for days. While waiting for the car and paperwork and all Karen was cooking when a pan of boiling oil fell and burned a lot of her arm. Then they returned home finally Saturday night. Sunday morning it was raining, but they still came to church. The kids participated in the primary program and memorized their parts!! It was amazing to see them. Right now they are scheduled to be baptized November 22. 

This is about the priesthood, but it applies to everyone. We literally have Gods power within us. Wherever we go, whatever we do our priesthood goes with us. We have great responsibilities that help ourselves and others to prepare ourselves for eternal life. We must first understand what are our responsibilities, and then act in all diligence D&C 107:99-100 (I think) .Think about what you are doing to earn your salvation and what are you doing to help someone else receive it. God trusts all of us with his gospel and we must share it. "For that which we share we keep." 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, November 2, 2015

Letter #69

People In my zone you would know are: Elder Candelario he is training to finish his mission (He is opening an area out in the middle of nowhere.) Also Elder Nelson (my companion´s trainer) you wouldn't know anyone else. 

A lot of times with the examples what we are doing is asking what their talents, interests and hobbies are and we do examples with those or things in their house. It works out well for the most part.

Dia de los muertos was a bit different. Here nobody sings a song to get treats they just say," Will you give me something for my skeleton?" The quesadilla with white stuff was cheese. They have different cheese here.

The miracle family was Luis, Karen, Francisco, Angel, and Gerardo. We also have 4 new baptismal dates Nancy, Cairo, Rosario, and Galilea.

My favorite area... As far as things to do in an area Alamedas. As far as the work goes Huehuetoca was awesome. I also like where I am right now. My companion and I are good friends. 

The zone meeting this week was the BOMB! We planned it the day before and in the morning before the meeting. We focused on the doctrine of who we are now and what we can become by faith, laws, and ordinances. Everything was sweet. In the end we do a practice to show the missionaries a bit of how to teach something. We taught a teenage girl, who some missionaries invited, about temples and how thanks to the restoration she can have an eternal family, but in the "practice" we both noticed it wasn't just a practice. It was a teenage girl who needs help too. She said her family isn't all members so we invited her to fast with us this Sunday so that her dad can have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel. At the end of the practice we asked her how she felt. The spirit was sooo strong. She cried and thanked us for what we shared with her. It strengthened my testimony that we are teaching PEOPLE not teaching LESSONS. 

This week I remembered something that my bishop in Xalpa said. When Elder Bednar came here he talked in some stake conferences. Something that he said was, "What is most important to Jesus?" He said if you want to find out read "the Gospels" and every time it says "...for the kingdom of God is at hand", Jesus always says something that we must do. I have read half of Matthew and with that I would like to highlight just one of the things most important to Christ. 
I have already talked about this. The first thing Christ said in his ministry (Matthew 4) was Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. In the footnotes it says that repent is a change of heart and mind, also a conversion. For Christ the first thing we must understand is that we must be converted! It is not enough to go through the motions. If you read in the Bible and the Book of Mormon with that in mind you will find many hidden treasures. My invitation is that you can read a talk from Elder Dallin H. Oaks called "The Challenge to Become" and that you can meditate on it. This message is changing my life every day, and I know it can change yours.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson
 Leadership counsel...(From his generation)
         Atlantes de Tula with Efrain (mission leader in Tultepec) and Laura from Tultepec.
Tula Atlantes