Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, February 29, 2016

Letter #86

Elder Huxford was in my first district in Alamedas for 6 months. He did come from the Provo MTC. We work really well together. 

In the zone there are 3 greenies and the rest are new to the area. 

We taught Ariel Herrera 2 times. One time we felt to pass by his local store when an appointment fell and he was all alone with nothing to do. The other time we taught the word of wisdom to Ariel with Juan Miranda (they used to be old drinking pals we just found out).

My birthday went well. We did interchanges and had a lot of appointments then at night we ate a piece of cake that we had bought.

These past few weeks we have found about 30 new people to teach and they are SUPER!!They complete every invitation except one; Going to Church!! We were expecting 13 people in church and only Juan and Ariel (who can't get baptized right now for the law of chastity and word of wisdom) came. We are trying a ton of things to get the investigators to church. Yesterday after church we took Juan Miranda around to present him to some investigators that don't come to church. He testified of how the church has changed him and promised them that it would help them too! We hope his testimony helps those investigators. Then in the end Juan said that there was a lady who saw the change he made in his life and he took us to her house to meet her. We arrived and she let us in her house. We got to know her and her 4 children. They are great! We hope to help them come unto the gospel too. 

This week was stake conference and I thought I would share something I liked.

Once a man found a pearl of great price. He loved the pearl and wanted to show it off to everyone. He had a fancy showing box made to put the pearl in. To his surprise and sadness, the people who passed by and saw his pearl paid more attention to the beauty of the fancy box than to his much more valuable pearl. 
Many times we do this. We pay attention to other things instead of the real reason for which it was made. 
Example. What would be the pearl of going to church. Many say we go to church for the good feeling, to learn, because our parents say we need to, because its a commandment, or for the sacrament. Actually none of those are the pearl. They are great things (the fancy box) but isn't the reason why we go. We go to church for Christ and his atonement (the pearl). The Sabbath day, sacrament, great feeling, etc. come because Christ came and suffered for us. 
If Christ had not come (if the pearl had never been found) everything we do in the church would have no point (the box would have no purpose).

I invite you to think about the "pearls" that God had given you. You will feel the love of our Father in Heaven.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

"When they asked me which airport I would like to come home to..." I told him I would gladly meet him there! :)

Andrew with his new companion Elder Huxford

Monday, February 22, 2016

Letter #85

Elder Huxford is from Cedar City. He played basketball in high school and football. He is really fun to be with. The zone changed a ton. Of 28 missionaries, 24 had changes. There are 13 new missionaries in the zone. 

This week was really cool, but with a kind of sadder ending. Last week we had contacted a lot and they were really great people that God has been preparing. We taught 8 new people this week and they all loved what we shared and commited to come to church. We had also been trying really hard to work with the members here because all our investigators are contacts in the street. We looked and called a ton of members to accompany us. When the members came and accompanied us the investigators weren't there. When the members canceled on us the investigators were there, so that was cool... ha ha NOT. We are working on that one still. But anyway, Sunday came around and nobody was in church except Juan Miranda who is always there. All the people that said they would come didn't come. Then one investigator walked in who we hadn't taught in 2 weeks. He´s named Ariel Herrera. After church he said that he loved it and found it very interesting. We are hoping to teach him. 

This week I was thinking about the importance of prayer. I am so thankful that growing up my family did family prayers. It may seem like something so small, but seeing the families that don't do it and all the difficulties that they have it makes me that much more grateful for the gospel and that much more determined to invite them to pray. When we pray sincerely God Listens and answers. I know it. He is always there to help us when we seek him. I invite you to really think about who you are talking to when you pray and to converse with him. I promise that you will feel the difference in your day and in your prayers. 

Love you, 
Elder Finlinson

Letter #84

Juan couldn't get married. His wife is hard hearted. We will keep working with him. That's awesome for Katelyn. That will be an amazing experience for her! (A family friend who received her mission call to Texas.)

They have "the day of friendship and love" in Mexico on February 14. 

This week went pretty well. It was fun being in a trio. We did interchanges almost everyday so that was really hard with different people in the area every day. But we were able to visit a lot of people. We are finding a ton of new investigators. The problem is that all of them are from contacts and asking the contacts for referrals. The members don't do anything to share the gospel. We are working on that right now. We are looking for the way to incoorporate the members with the lessons and investigators. The investigators aren't coming to church and I think its because they don't know anyone there. 

I will be staying here in Tepeji again. Elder Toledo is going to Lomas Lindas (the same zone where I started my mission). My next companion will be Elder Huxford from Cedar City. Acually I think he will be going to SUU also. He was the former assistant to the President. It should be really fun with him. I did interchanges with him this week here in Tepeji so it will be great to keep working with him here. After the day of interchanges he said, " If president changes me I want to come here." What do you know!

In what ways has the mission changed me. It gave me a real testimony. I have learned to trust in God and to love his work. I know that He lives and knows me. I know now that he has a perfect plan for me and that He is always there to guide me. I have also been able to change a lot of who I was (with my natural man) I have gained a love for my Savior and know that he also lives. In my opinion the biggest way that the mission has changed me is in my relationship with God. Before I didn't have a testimony that strong. I believed in a God and what they told me in church and in my family, but now that belief has become a clear certainty. The best part is that this blessing is available to everyone! When we pray sincerely God hears and answers us. We will feel his presence. 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Letter #83

In Mexico the religious leaders have no legal power. They cannot marry a person. His  wife is very catholic and so far still has not wanted to hear our message. Their house is small so she hears the most of it anyways even though she isn't present in the room we are in. He has 2 or 3 sons. They don't listen either. (This is one of his investigators that wants to be baptized, but needs to get married first.)

They are going to use the wood frame for book shelves. ( I asked him why they took the arcade game machines apart for the person they were serving.)

I have eaten chiles rellenos. They are great!! 

Yesterday a lizard got into our house somehow. My comp Elder Toledo hates lizards and so he grabbed a match and an Axe body spray can trying to use it as a flamethrower to get the thing out. It just started chasing him and he ran around the house screaming like a little school girl. I then got the  lizard out by using a broom and a dustpan. 

This week was full of surprises. 

We had some mission meetings with a local area 70. It was to help us to grow our faith to be able to visit and help more people. In other words to save more sons and daughters of God. We worked super hard this week even though we weren't even in our area almost 2 full days for those meetings and also one time because we went to the temple!! We were able to visit about 8 families more than usual because we always asked ourselves, "Who else can we help?" God provided the way from there, always providing a way to visit people. We hope to keep going like that. We just have to work better with the members. We are working on how to do that. 

Thursday night a convert from Elder Toledo´s first area called us and said that she was going to get sealed to her husband this Saturday. We went early Saturday morning to the temple for the sealing. We went in a fancy bus that had TV´s (I was trying not to watch Divergent for an hour and a half, but it was hard because I was hearing the whole thing). Then we went in the Subway system. It was way cool. We went In the temple and the sealing ordinance was AWESOME! I have never felt so much power from the spirit in one moment. 

We fasted with Juan this week so that his wife softens her heart so that He can get married legally and get baptized. We have an appointment today.

Saturday night we received interesting news. We would become a trio. I am now here with my companion Elder Toledo and with Elder Hopkins from Logan (his comp was sent home). We will be together until the transfers next week. Its weird teaching with 3, but it's a blast being together.

I invite you to think about this question this week, "Who else can I help?" and see in how many ways God will be present in your life.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

 Elder Toledo and Andrew with the couple that Elder Toledo taught and baptized that are now sealed!
 A new eternal family! 
Andrew with Elder Hopkins and Elder Toledo now a trio companionship...until transfers next Monday.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Letter #82

FELIZ CUMPLEAƑOS KATIE!!

The world wide meeting was about the fundamentals of being a missionary and the doctrine of Christ. In the meetings with the stake president and mission president we talk about the wards and missionaries if they are progressing or not. 

I loved the humor of Great Grandpa Evans. His Christmas gifts of the magical white crew socks that made me run faster and jump higher were always the best. I could always outrun any girl. ha ha. 

This week was harder. Nobody was home for our appointments. Almost literally nobody. The good thing is that my health is good because we were walking a lot! We had the Zone meeting this week. We talked about the atonement and the plan of salvation. It was really good. I loved preparing by reading the talks from Bruce C. Hafen "The Atonement: All for All" or everything for everything (who knows what it is in English) The assistants came to the zone so we were a group of 31 missionaries.  I really do like teaching meetings like that. I don't like to do talks in church because I can't interact with the people, I just talk. I like to interact as I teach, it's better. 

Funniest thing... idk... Funnest thing Elder Toledo and I took apart 5 old video game machines for a service project. It was crazy!

One great story. Saturday after a day full of fallen appointments, members that said they would accompany us but didn't ever show up and wouldn't answer their phone, and a meeting that didn't have a point, we had an appointment with Juan Miranda. He has had doubts about the restoration and all his family says that he should go to different churches. He always goes to church and is living the commandments (but he has to get married legally still) when we arrived for the appointment a little tired, his first words were, "I understand the restoration!" He has read a lot of the Book of Mormon and he read Lehi´s dream (a dream he also had) and he kept reading and reading and he learned and understood why this is the church of Christ. He is scheduled to be baptized on Feb 14 if he can get married. 

An invitation is that you can analyze what you do on the Sabbath day. The focus of the church right now is that. They say that if we can really understand that commandment our faith will increase and we will be able to keep the other commandments. The Sabbath day is a sign between God and Us. I know that it can be a special day for all of us if we put the Lord first.

Elder Finlinson

 Part of my 'family': My brother, my son and a grandson. (I know his son is Elder Toro. The others not so sure.)
The video game machines he and Elder Toledo took apart.
A member in San Lucas has 6 pet peacocks and apparently lots of roosters too.