Called To Serve

Called To Serve
Mexico, Mexico City North

Monday, April 25, 2016

Letter #94

* Story behind the picture I received in my email this week from a member in Mexico. We were walking in the street to visit someone with Brother Lopez when we saw the car. I said "I need a picture with this car, but I don't have my camera." So he took the picture and I told him to send it to you. 

I have had dogs try and attack, but that haven't had success. *When asked about any animal encounters.

Elder Servin does everything from his heart, and tries his best. *Favorite thing about his companion.

The Best and Worst of each of the areas he has served in:
Alamedas: Best- They fed us very well and we lived 4 missionaries together. Worst: Pride and a tiny area.
Xahuento: Best- more humble. Worst- NO Members.
Huehuetoca: Best- The ward, and area were great. Worst- Washing clothes by hand.
Xalpa : Best- We lived really close to the church. Worst- House problems and we couldn't wash clothes much.
Tepeji: Best- The view, small town feel, people are very receptive. Worst- Not much member support.
Ciudad Labor :Best- The house. Worst- We never eat with the members.

This week it was hardish. Margarita and Alberto were telling us that they don't want to get baptized and continue in the church. We listened to them and felt that we needed to talk about the genealogy work for the dead. Their expressions changed and they were very intrigued. They decided they wanted to know more. Fabiola and Berenice didn't come to church. Fabiola had a rash and Berenice let all her work of the year add up and now she is in crunch time with doing the year totals in her work. 
I did give a talk this week it was about something that Thomas S. Monson said. "We know where we want to go and our choices matter." Pres. Eyring said that Gods purpose and our purpose should affect every decision we make. Our purpose in in Moroni 10:32-33. Be perfected in Christ. We do that through covenants and his Atonement. We go to church, read the scriptures, and pray, etc. to be perfected in Christ. It's not just a checklist of requirements to enter into heaven. 

I invite you to do those small things, thinking of Your purpose and Gods purpose.

Funny experience: My companion and I were walking by and saw a group of women about 30 years old with their kids. As we passed by they all stared. Later in the day we stopped on a street to look at our agenda. As we were standing there one of those same ladies passed by us and says, "I`m Denise! I am 29 years old and I live in that red house!" Then her 9 year old kid starts yelling Spanish pick-up lines.... it was weird.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

Brother Lopez sent this picture of Andrew and Herbie the Love Bug!

 The Mauricio Family was baptized!!! This is a family Andrew taught in Xahuento but they couldn't get baptized because they were not divorced from former spouses. They were able to get divorced, married and baptized! So happy for them. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Letter #93

My favorite thing about Ciudad Labor is the view, the house, and the members want to work.
The main employment-... there isn't one, but the majority work in Mexico City and get back about 7:30 at night.

Best thing I ate this week- Dominos pizza. The worst- I don't know, the thing I don't like much is that we never eat with the members. They are never home at that time so they just give us a bit of money to go buy something.

I have not had any animal encounters here in Ciudad Labor.

This week we have been pretty busy with a lot of visits. I actually taught a lesson in English to someone who just got here from Chicago. She did not want anything the 2nd time we went because she looked up the comments on Joseph Smith on the internet. 

We did see a miracle though. This Sunday no one that we were teaching came to church for a lot of different excuses and reasons. I was feeling pretty bad for a bit, but then as we were walking in the street 3 different people contacted us and said that they wanted to learn more about Christ and find out how to get closer to God. That experience helped me to know that God has a plan and that he knows what is happening in our lives. If we trust in him he will put things in order and lead us to success. 

Hope everyone is doing well and I just want to remind you all that you are children of God. You have divine priviledges as you follow the counsel of a loving Heavenly Father. He is always there to help us. It may be hard to do all that he asks us to do, or to make changes in our lives to align our lives with Gods will, but it is always what will bring us happiness in the end. 
I invite you to think of your blessings as a child of god. Romans 8:16-17

Love you,
Elder Finlinson

 Cleaning his 'favorite' wall. 
The finished product!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Letter #92

We get the Liahona. We get it normally about 2 months later.

The area (Ciudad Labor) is just congested.  We have a washing machine here!!!!!!! ( This is a big deal!)

Today for p-day we played soccer with the Elders from Chilpa (Elder Lopez and Elder Barney) and another member and Fabiola. It was fun. I actually killed it. (I scored many goals).

Fabiola and Berenice are not smoking and are really happy with all the changes they are making in their lives. They are loving the church and enjoying all the new things they are learning. Also this week we found two new investigators named Margarita and Alberto. They are an older couple and have been married for 51 years. They came to church this week and they loved it. They want to help their granddaughter who is struggling in her life right now. 

One happy moment of the week is that Fabiola, Berenice, Margarita, and Alberto could come to church! They really liked the class we taught too about Our Heavenly Father in Gospel principles. 

Today I would like to talk a little bit more about the Atonement of Christ and the blessings that come as we use it. Matthew 11:28-30 says that we must come unto him because we are burdened and heavy laden. What does the phrase burdened and heavy laden mean to you? To me it has meant many things. Sadness, sorrow, fatigue, sins, and much more. What I do know is that whatever burden you may have, Christ has suffered it and much more. He overcame it. Many times we get stuck in the suffering part, but through Christ WE TOO OVERCOME IT. That is the spirit of the Atonement. We all have our own struggles and weaknesses, but as we look to Christ we can have hope. One invitation I would like to extend you is to read and or listen to the talk by Elder Holland from Last April. Christ helps us overcome our own falls and is the only one on which we can hold on to.

Love you,
Elder Finlinson
 Elder Servin, my companion 
The view out of my window at night.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Letter #91

Elder Fraser is a district leader in my zone, he is the only one you would know, and maybe Hermana Delgado. (I was in the same ward as her for 6 weeks in Tultepec). 
I am outside the DF right now. But I think Alamedas is the area most south. We are on the mission borderline though.

April Fools was normal, we taught a zone meeting and then worked. The daylight savings time thing isn't my favorite in the morning, but I love that it isn't pitch black at night now while I am in the streets.

I watched conference in English, but as always the first session just never works well. They get there at 10 to start setting it up and then don't do it well. I barely heard any of the first 3 talks. 

My companion, Elder Servin is great! He`s from Cuahila. He helps me to be better and better. My impressions of the area: It's a lot of hills, but it's a good area. The members accompany us to appointments even though there aren't many active members (about 50). We don't have a ton of investigators and we haven't found any new ones even though we have contacted a ton and asked everyone for referrals. We`ll keep looking. 

This week 2 investigators came to General Conference with us. Fabiola (about 20-21) and Berenice (about 26). They both smoke, but now have desires to be baptized. They loved General Conference and want to be baptized. We are really hoping to help them.

I didn't have a favorite talk. Elder Holland's talk actually hit me really hard though. I did want to share 3 things that I felt strongly this week. 
1) Christ is our Savior.  I can talk about eternal families, the blessings of God, repentance etc., but all of this is only possible by and through Christ. 
2) God knows and loves each one of us. It hit in 2 occasions. The first was after the talk by Elder Kearon about refugees, President Uchtdorf stood up crying. He was a refugee and God knew he (even an apostle) needed that message at that time. And when Elder Holland said something like "even when you think the Gospel standards are too high. Do Not Give Up!" He doesn't ask us to be perfect, all he asks is a consecrated "Almost".
3) Christ directs this church through his chosen servants. 

Loving the work.
Love you,
Elder Finlinson