Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, March 28, 2016

Letter #90

I will be leaving Tepeji... I´m headed to Ciudad Labor with Elder Servin. The elder who will take my place here in Tepeji is  ELDER URRUTIA!! (My old companion.) I feel a lot better knowing that he will be here to keep the work going! I am still a zone leader. My new zone will be half the size as my zone right now. Elder Servin arrived the same day I did in the mission field. It is the Tepalcapa Este zone.

The things I will miss most from Tepeji. I love the small town feeling here. Everyone is really friendly and its really nice here. I have come to love a lot of the people here so that is always hard. 

My favorite experience of the week was this Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we had an appointment with Marisela (an investigator that loves the church and wants the blessings). We hadn't been able to see her for 2 weeks, but when we arrived for the appointment she had invited a friend named Marissa with her son Pedro (11). They listened to missionaries in the USA for a couple years, but she couldn't get baptized. She said that she was going to live inTepeji, but that this Sunday she wouldn't be able to come to church because she was going to go to Mexico City. On Sunday we were in church and Alma and Juan Miranda had already arrived. A couple minutes later we saw Marisela, Marissa, and Pedro walk in the doors. In the end she moved the day that she would go to Mexico City so that she could come to Church! (We also found out the Marissa is the mom of the chicks that yelled, "I want to be Mormon!!" from their car) haha

We are working hard. Alma is progressing really well and will be baptized on April 16 and Marisela on the 23 of April!

This week I want to invite you all to prepare yourselves for General Conference. It is a privilege to know that we have a prophet on the earth today to guide us. God has always guided his children in their journey home through prophets and we can listen to one today! I invite you to think about your life and to write down questions. I promise that as you listen to the words spoken you will receive answers and you will feel as if God is speaking right to you!

Love you,
Elder Finlinson
 The sisters made the hearts and the Elders couldn't say no to a picture with them.
 Andrew and Elder Huxford visiting Elder Toro's district.
La Butaka (All you can eat wings.)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Letter #89

My favorite thing about the Mexican culture is that they are sooo nice. You can just barely get to know someone and they offer you a glass of water and a plate of food. They really do give all they have. Also it's cool that almost everyone can dance here.

Well this week is the start of a 2 week vacation here in Mexico, the holiday is their spring break and holy week. So lots of people are not home at all so that's just dandy. The week was a bit slower. A couple of interesting experiences. I don't know if you have seen the "Follow Him" video on the church website. It also has some pass-a-long cards that say, "Follow Him and find a new life #Hallelujah". The picture on the card just looks a lot like the catholic paintings and images that they worship here and being completely honest I am not a huge fan. I decided that I needed a testimony that the initiative was inspired by God so I contacted a person and gave her a card. I asked her what came to her mind when she sees that card. She paused for a second and then looked up at us confused and says, "Are you guys Catholics??" I about had a face-palm moment right there. 

Great experience. Alma went to church again this week. She is great!! As we were there singing a hymn she felt the spirit very strong and started to cry. Then as we taught about the life of Christ and we talked about stories of Christ that have had a significant meaning in our life, she also felt the spirit. She is loving everything and wants to be baptized. 

Something that I was thinking this Sunday as we learned about the Atonement was how we can come to understand better the Atonement in a personal way. Many times we think we have to repent or to get strengthened during a sickness to feel the power of the Atonement of Christ, but there is more. We are imperfect and need a lot of help from Christ and in those ways we can see it from the point of view of an imperfect person, but we are to be perfected in Christ. Become as he is. To do so we must see things through his point of view also. 
What motivated Christ to suffer and die for all of our sicknesses, weaknesses, sins, and afflictions was his love for all. To understand the Atonement and his sacrifice completely we must understand His Love for all and feel that love for others. We gain that love as we go about serving others always and obeying the commandments. 

I invite you to look for that unconditional love of Christ. Look at things from His point of view and act in a way that He may help you to become more like Him and bless the lives of others. 

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Monday, March 14, 2016

Letter #88

This week we did do exchanges with Elder Toro and his 'son', Elder Dotson from Shelly, Idaho. It was also Elder Toro´s birthday so we bought a pizza. 

They just put chicken and cream and cheese I think on the enchiladas. I also like salpicón y al hambre. (He said he would explain that at a later time?)

This week was AMAZING!!! God did miracles here. We were able to teach 27 lessons this week, which is a lot more than normal here and we keep finding a lot of great people to teach. 10 people came to church this week and for 7 of them it was their first time. Juan Miranda (the investigator that can't get baptized but is more converted than most members) accompanies us and shares his testimony. He also contacts in the street! The people that came to church were:
Juan Miranda, Ariel Herrera, Alma (she is preparing to get baptized April 3 and is doing great) the next few went for the first time: The Jimenez Roperto family (Edgar, Yanely, her son Gael 11 and Sait 3) Axel and his mom Estela, Marisela and her daughter Diana (they also accepted baptism for April 16).

The majority loved the church and are really looking forward to coming back, with others we need to help them a bit because the son loved Primary, but the parents didn't understand much. 

It's really fun being here with Elder Huxford. It's funny because sometimes we will be walking in the street and people will whistle at us and tell us that we are "guapos". (Handsome) And groups of teenage girls or college girls will yell, "I want to be Mormon!!!! AAAAHHHH"  to which we start laughing and say, "We can help you with that!". 

I would LOVE to stay in Tepeji one more transfer if I could, but it isn't very likely that they give me more time here. I am really excited for the scholarship! It shows how much better God´s plan is than any other plan. An area that I might like. I would like to go to Apaxco. I like being up in the north and outside the main city.

I have been thinking more about Gods plan. He really loves us and wants the best for each one of us. He called us to do many important things while here on earth and we promised him before coming here that we would complete our mission. I can testify that true joy and happiness only come when we are living how God wants us to live. Every time I see the changes in other peoples lives and the blessings they receive I think about all that God has done for me. I invite you to evaluate your relationship with God and look for ways to come closer to him. I can promise you that you will find real happiness.

Elder Finlinson

Monday, March 7, 2016

Letter #87

 I did get the package and I handed out some Warheads (candy) to the zone this week. I loved the happy birthday photos! It was awesome to see some familiar faces!

Funniest thing this week doesn't make much sense in English, but for Elder Huxford and I it is funny. Its like a spanglish joke about echando ganas. (we are echin some serious ganas here in Tepeji   (spanglish for we´re giving it our all here in Tepeji)

The best thing I ate this week... I loved the enchiladas verdes. I could tell you the worst thing I ate too! There is a food here called chicharron en salsa verde. Chicharron is pig skin and pig fat that has been fried and then boiled then they just put it in a bowl of salsa. I call it the pig jacket soup.

Spiritual highlight: First off this week was hard working with the members. They would say they were going to accompany us and then never show up or they would never answer their phone. We found another 14 new investigators this week all by contacting in the street and referrals from non-members. To make a long story short we were working alone. Sunday we were fasting so that the members could have a change of heart. In ward council we shared what we had done this week alone and helped them see that things are not all good here in Tepeji as they always think. Then in the 3rd hour of church the Bishopric, Elders Quorum Pres., High Priest group leader, and Stake President stood up and started reprimanding them with power and authority. Then all of a sudden the members started coming over to us and apologized and then offered to accompany us this week. And the same with the sister missionaries. Then after church people said they were going to share the gospel with some friends and that they would tell us how it went next time. Our prayers and fast were answered. 

Other highlight was with an investigator named Alma. We contacted her a few weeks ago in the street. She is so ready for the gospel. She accepted baptism! We showed her around the church Saturday night and showed her the baptismal font. She said that she felt weird. We asked why and she said, "Because I have a lot of sins." We then testified of the promise of baptism. On Sunday she came to church with her kids and she said that she has asked God if this is true and she said she received an answer that it is!!

Its great to hear from you guys!
échenle ganas! (echarle ganas is kind of like "work hard" "give it your best". Literally it is basically throw out great desires.)

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

 I'll go where you want me to go..."

 The view of Tepeji from Taxhido
 The view of Tepeji from San Mateo

Happy Birthday to me!