Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, January 25, 2016

Letter #81

They have to be sober for 30 days before their baptism, but if they have not completely repented it is more time. Its not just a checklist of things to complete, they must have a testimony and a conversion. (Answer to my question about Juan after he had some alcohol.)

I recorded the thing before christmas. I thought they would have used it before. I had recorded a better one, but my camera turned off half way through. (Answer to my question about a recording he did for our ward conference on missionary work.) 

Adversity. Its like going to the gym. You have to have gravity and weights to do exercise and get bigger and stronger. In life we will go through different things, but its also necesary. One thing that changed my mission was the invitation to ask God what I lacked. When I pondered I realized that I needed to repent and get better. What I felt is described really well in the video on Mormon channel of the Gardener and the Current Bush it is the story of Hugh B. Brown. The video is called The Will of God.

This week was cool. We taught the restoration to Carlos and Maria Magdalena.They are living together, but not married. They say they would like to get married in 4 years so that they can go on a big trip to celebrate and they can save up until then. We told them that because the gospel is restored they can get sealed in the temple for time and eternity. That they could get married and then have the trip when they get sealed. The next day we saw Maria Magdalena in the street and she was super excited. She said "Carlos and I went out for a coffee (which isn't the best thing) last night and he said he had been thinking about the things he learned from your visit. Then he asked me to marry him in March!" They understood the blessings of God and decided to repent in order to "not live in sin" in the words of Maria Magdalena. They are 22 and 21. 

We also were really time limited on Wednesday because we went to Tula (an hour from Tepeji) in the morning for a meeting for all the missionaries in the world and then back to Tula again that night for the meeting with the mission president and stake president. In the short time we had in Tepeji in between we contacted some people and did some service for people we saw in the street. They were pulling out things that had fallen in a ditch (tires and other things) we got down there in the ditch and pulled out the stuff. I could feel the Joy and Light that came from service and proclaiming the gospel. Later people started talking to us when they saw, us asking us if we could teach them about God. It was crazy! We just used the time wisely that God gave us and he gave us miracles. (The majority of the people that we contacted and contacted us live in the area of the sister missionaries in Tepeji, that was the only sad part).

I invite you to serve this week, in the house, school, wherever and feel the joy that it brings to serve.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, January 18, 2016

Letter #80

*Answers for questions I asked about last weeks pictures and letter
Jilotepec is about an hour west from Tepeji I think.  No Elder Candelario was in Huichapan like 3 1/2 hours north of Tepeji on a bus. Interchanges were good, I did a baptismal interview, but one did not pass. He didn't have a testimony. It was a fish hatchery and restaurant ( the fishing picture from last week.) Just my zone went because the zone is huge.(To the temple last week.)

Eva y Janet. Now the Mom and the dad are hospitalized. We haven't been able to see them lately. Juan Miranda drank on Saturday, but he said he felt Horrible and never wants to feel that bad again. 

To teach about the temple we help them understand the "why" we need to go to the temple, then we do a puzzle that we made of the temple. We relate the puzzle with our life. We sometimes need a guide or people to help us to accomplish our goals. No matter how hard it can be if we keep on working we can accomplish it. We ask them what things they will do to start preparing themselves "piece by piece" for the temple and we invite them to talk with the bishop to put everything in order and share with him their goal of going to the temple. 

Favorite thing I read this week was an article in the Liahona about avoiding pornography. It made a reference to 1 Nephi 15:27. Lehi did not notice the filthiness because his mind was focused on other things (the tree of life). If we focus on Eternal life we won't have to worry about the filthiness of the world and we will have the strength to resist temptation. 

Funny story. This Sunday I made breakfast with some grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and ham and cheese quesadillas for my comp and I. I felt like I would be hungry still after, but didn't want to use more cheese. I looked in the fridge for something more to put in a tortilla and I saw some hershey kisses. I put them in a tortilla to make a grilled tortilla with chocolate. When I was done and about to eat it I thought for a bit. I then put the chocolate "quesadilla" in the middle of my companions quesadillas that I had made him. He happily ate his first bite of the quesadilla and went to get salsa. He ate all his first quesadilla with extra salsa, then he grabbed the second " ham and cheese quesadilla" which was really the chocolate one I put on his plate. He smothered it all with salsa and took a big big bite. He chewed for a bit and then froze. Then he yells "WHAT WAS THAT!!!" 
Needless to say I laughed my head off.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Letter #79

WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE! The missionaries from Jilotepec came to our house to sleep over last night because today in the morning at 7:15 they picked us up in Tepeji to go to the temple. We woke up at 5:30 and got ready. We went half of the zone in one combi and the other half in another. We arrived in a little over an hour. We did one session of endowment in Spanish and then we came back to Tepeji. We finally got back at 3:30. 

Eva and Janet are still going to visit the sick dad everyday in the Capital. We almost haven't been able to see them. Juan Miranda isn't drinking anymore and he says that people where he works always ask him how he is changing so fast! He said that we were helping him and they asked him if we could visit them too. We will contact them today hopefully. He will be baptized on February 7 if he can keep resisting the alcohol. 

We are working really hard and we have been really trying to help people and not just teach a lesson and leave. We see small miracles everyday and we are finding ways to help the ward. One thing we are doing is a temple activity that Elder Urrutia and I did in Huehuetoca. We have seen good results by talking about temples with everyone. They begin to understand how many blessings the gospel can bring to them and what really is their relation with God. 

I invite you to think about the covenants that you have made. Baptismal and also in the temple. and Ponder on what you promised to do. Think about the promises that God has made with you, especially during the sacrament. I promise that as you do You begin to see things more as God sees them. Things as they really are. 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

P.S. As for the question about lizards (the bead lizards). A few weeks ago we contacted a person that was outside her house while we were looking for someone else. While doing so her nephew ran outside. He is about 4. We talked with Her (Elvira) for a while and said we could come back, but her schedule was crazy busy. I gave a lizard to the little boy, he smiled and ran back in the house. 3 weeks later we finally found Elvira in her house and out ran the boy yelling, "Thank you for the lizard, I love it!"

Elder Toro is a District leader in the zone. The zone is doing well.

 Catching my lunch!
 Floating bridge in Jilotepec during exchanges.
 Lunch was stellar!!!
 This is our house...Mexico City Temple
 Elder Toledo and Andrew at the temple.
I love to see the temple!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Letter #78

* I asked him some questions from last weeks pictures these are the answers: The white dude is a "son" of Candelario, the other missionary is my grandson, "son of Elder Toro". We stay away from the horses, but they do leave there "business" everywhere. 

Some wards change times, but only if more than one ward goes to that building. Here only one ward attends, so no we don't change.

Favorite experience of this week: The lesson we had on Saturday with Eva and Janet. We taught the first part of the plan of salvation, but completely focused on them. The spirit was felt so stongly and they all accepted the invitations. It was amazing, but they didn't come to church, so who knows what is happening right now. Or the other experience was when a drunk dude stopped us in the street. We got talking about his family and his wife. He then thought that Elder Toledo wanted his wife, then later in the conversation he sees that Elder Toledo was moving and shaking his leg. The drunk man says "Hey what are you doing? Stop that, you tempt me!" haha The dude was tempted by my comp.
Most people here work in factories or in private security. They are almost always working.

They are celebrating things a bit still here, but actually this week we had more appointments than every other week in December. This year (for New Years Eve) I returned home at 7 and we got planning the zone meeting for January 1 in the morning. It went really well actually. We taught about the Restoration and that the restoration is right now. We still have to work. So we taught about how God is doing his part and what we must do. In the practice we also helped a member who came from a different ward to solve a problem that she was going through in her life. 

I did do interchanges this week with Elder Hopkins. It was funny because he is from Logan High (a rival school to Sky View where Andrew graduated). When he walked in our house he entered into our bedroom and put his stuff down on Elder Toledo´s bed. He turned saw my bed and said "You´re kidding me, what is this??!" He grabbed my Arizona State hoodie from my bed and looked at it then returned to his stuff and pulled out a jacket. Arizona Wildcats.... Haha rivals in everything.

 Changes are this week, surprisingly I will stay here in Tepeji with Elder Toledo again. We will be together 4 and a half months at the end of this change. Elder Hopkins stays in his area and Elder Candelario is going to be a zone leader again in a different area. Also Elder Toro is coming to the zone.

My invitation is short and simple. Read the Book of Mormon every day and look for how it is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".

Love you,
Elder Finlinson
 One last Tula Zone picture before transfers.
A couple of the Sister's wanted a picture with their Zone Leaders.