Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Monday, August 29, 2011

Week Four in Monclova

Buenos Tardes! How are you all today?? Here´s another week, don't know how it got here. I always sit here at the computer and think, wow, what just happened. The weeks fly by. This week was good, I have had the opportunity to get to know another companion. The first few days of a new companion always throw off the system because your used to teaching ways with the last companion. I'll say I have had plenty of Spanish practice. My companion generally only talks when we eat with the members. Other than that, I'm the only one dancing on stage. There is always a certain look that some of the people give me when they don't understand my American accent. It's similar to um, I am really confused, kind of face. That's when I turn to my companion to translate, he helps me out in those situations.

We have almost cleared out all the "previous investigators" of the closest areas. It's a section in the area book that has all the investigators that other missionaries have found but had to leave for various reasons. It's a lot more effective trying to see if we can pick up where other missionaries left off than contacting.

Right now we're working with someone named Salvador. Or in English, 'Savior'. The names here are always a little confusing. The most common you find here is the last name of "Mary of the Cross". They love it for some reason. Anyways, we worked last week with the 2nd counselor to visit people he knows in the area. We knocked a door with him but no one answered. The next day we decided to knock it again and found Salvador. As of right now, he´s a little difficult to find at times, drinks every day, but we got him to church. We are doing what we can to help him out.

I'm learning a lot with my new companion. He has been a lot of help. One of the things I have loved of this week is seeing his progression. I remember arriving to the first lunch hour with a member, and the member asked him when he was going on his mission. He told her, he wasn't. A few days later, another member asked the same thing. He responded with, "I dont know yet, we'll see." And a few days ago we had the question again. I listened as he said he´ll find out when he turns his papers in after these 2 weeks. That one made me smile!

I hope you all had a good week, and enjoy this upcoming one.
We'll talk to you shortly, Elder Warner

Dear Mom,
HEY LOVE! How are you? How was this last week for you? Mine was good! You asked if I like the area better. Each area has its challenges. And when the day comes to leave the area, looking back on how hard it was and wondering how I spent 3 months there, makes it worth it. This will be one of my hardest areas, but when that day comes I will rejoice in what I have learned here.

My spiritual experience this week. Well, you know how I like the little things, here it is. We went to pass by an investigator we have for church yesterday. Of course, I had the questions of what if he's not there? What excuses will he have, etc. As we walked to his house, these things were running through my mind. My companion noticed, tapped me on the shoulder, smiling, reminding me to keep a smile on my face. Something little I know, but it's those spiritual times when I remember that I'm a servant of the Lord.

This week was good. We worked, and worked, and worked. Did what we could and tried multiple new ways of working, etc. Tracting is alright, but you wouldn't believe how many people say the exact thing over and over again. Always telling us how they don't have time, while sitting watching the TV, etc. I had to learn to laugh about it a long time ago.

How is the house with everyone gone? That summer flew by!! I remember when I had my summers and they seemed like forever. Now, with my missionary mind, it's two changes. which goes like two days. Well dear, thank you for all your emails and I loooved the pictures. That baby is a princess! Have a good week for me ok!
Love you, Elder Warner

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week Three in Monclova

Hey Everyone! how are you all doing? Well, there are a few things that this week brought. I will get the ugly out of the way. We had a really, really good investigator that showed up for church (read the journal entry in the last picture below). We visited with her twice, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The second time we saw her, we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). We invited her to be baptised and the first time she didnt accept so we had her pray and ask if she should be baptised this Sunday. She accepted after her prayer. It was a really powerful lesson that we walked away from with huge smiles. Each day afterwards, we passed by her house multiple times and never found her. On Saturday the returned Sister missionary visited her house and found her. Our investigator told her that she would be at church the next day. We passed by back and forth Sunday morning but never found her. The light and air was on in her house, so with what we have experienced in the past, we think it might be her husband not allowing her to leave. It's been hard accepting these fallen miracles but each day is a new one.

Well for today, I should be getting a new companion tomorrow. There was another summer missionary (a local young man that is near mission age and getting ready to put his mission papers in, who goes out and serves with the full-time Elders for several weeks in the summer. He actually is assigned to a full-time missionary) that was serving with an Elder in Monterrey, but went home early because of how the Elder treated him. The President told me he is going to try to put this kid with me, and my companion will serve with someone else in a different area. The kid wanted to meet me first before we started working so about 3 hours ago I met with him. His first words were, "I dont want to help you". The Elder he was with destroyed his mission experience and he has no desire to do this work anymore. He cancelled his mission papers and everything when he returned back to his house. Well, I talked with him today and got him to agree to finish these next 3 weeks with me. I dont expect it to be easy, he doesn't have a desire to do it, but I think I made it clear there is only One person he should be doing it for. He told me he doesn't want to talk to any of the people, or teach any of the lessons. I don't know how we will do it but the President asked me to do it, so it'll get done somehow.

This week we had Zone Conference. As always, it was really awesome and spritual. I always learn from what the Zone leaders teach us but I always learn the most from the simple testimony of the Mission President's wife. She emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon in each of our lives and how we should apply it in our life. She made lasagna for all the missionaries. It was my companions first time he had eaten it and he LOVED IT. He had a good time as well and had to do that goofy dance cause he had a birthday.

To be honest, I'm emotionally drained. This week took it out of me. It has been really hard and I have been seeing everyone but my companion and I rejoice in success in their areas. I asked if I could talk in church on Sunday so they gave me a few minutes, in where I spoke on charity and one of my favorite Book of Mormon stories in Alma 29. We have 4 committments of members to help us out this week so we will see if we can scoop up from ground level.

Thank you all for your unfailing support, it gets me through all my weeks. I hope you all have an awesome day.
Elder Warner

Dear Mom,
Hey dear how are you doing? Oh, how excited I am to read your emails! I love getting them and just reading them over and over! Well, for your last email sorry I confused you all on my companion. The picture I sent with the guy in an arm sling is my companion (soon to be leaving), and the 2 other Elders lived with us in the same house. It was actually at the transfer site before we all went off to our separate areas. Elder Combe, the District leader, stayed in Piedras Negras. I noticed on the weekly mission email that he has 3 weeks in a row baptizing! I'm so happy he's doing good. He is in a hard area that hadn't baptised for 5 months before he got there. How was your vacation!? I'm so glad you made it home safe and sound. I prayed for you as always. Well, this week I recieved a package from you! Oh, how it lit up my week. Thank you so much!! I love your packages. I noticed you said that I look mature(er). I want to let you know I can grow semi-side burns. I have been really happy about that. Also, I live with Elder Hemsley, he is an awesome Elder!! He is really fun to be around and yes, it has been such a relief talking about biking with someone who knows a little about it. And like he said, we do have lots of bugs. LOTS. Cockroaches always in the kitchen. Every morning when I turn on the lights I just see them all scatter. The ants are out of control. I have to have EVERYTHING in a zip lock or there are millions of ants. No exageration! And the bat-sized moths are always fun to sleep with. You should see the size of the spiders not to mention. You asked if I need anything. I still have 2 shirts brand new I haven't used. Everything is holding up. I will be sending pictures of my shoes to dad soon to see if they qualify for the one year warranty. I loved your quotes last week. I write them on post it notes and put them in my planner to always remember. Other than that how are you doing?? How was your week and all? I'm so excited to read about it. I hope you're doing awesome, my love! Have a good day for me! I love you, mom. Bryan.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Semana 2 - BAPTISM!

¡Buenos Días! How are you all? Well, we had a good week as you can see with a baptism. This is 16 year old cezar that we are super excited for. This kid always has a smile on and is always animated to listen about the gospel. His parents are both members but are inactive of some years. We had a really good baptism service with both of his parents there, little brother, sister and aunt. He has been going to all the activities and church so we're really excited to see his progression.

This week we did a lot more contacting. Through prayer, we were able find the areas we need to contact and brought a 16 year old girl, who we had at church yesterday. I imagine this week we will be continuing knocking doors. I found out that we have zone conference on Wednesday and it caught me off suprise, it felt like we just barely had the last one. I love zone conferences - being with the Mission President and his wife, the food she brings us, and especially the advice and teachings we learn, so I'm really excited. My companion is doing really well, he is still in the people-shy stage so I'm trying to warm him up. I went on divisions with the district leader and he went with the companion of the district leader who doesnt know Spanish, so my companion had to do all the talking - it cracked his shell open a little and is slowly getting there.

Yesterday I studied in a book I'm reading, about the Sacrament before we went to church. What I learned made the meeting something it has never been for me. I recapped that we take of the Sacrament weekly because our natural minds are forgetful. Unfortunately at times we forget our Savior as well. "Remembering is the seed of gratitude." We have always had this seed planted in our lives, at times we just forget to water and nourish it. I loved what I learned about one of the greatest significances of the Sacrament- "The sacrament is a time when we not only remember the Savior, but we match our life against that of the Great Exemplar. It is a time to put aside all self-deception; it is a time of absolute sublime truth. All excuses, all facades must fall by the wayside, allowing our spirit, as it really is, to commune Spirit to Spirit with our Father. At this moment we become our own judge, contemplating what our life really is and what it really should be" it talks about how it is one of the most important moments of meditation in each of our weeks. Which is very true - the author wrote, "I could imagine that if we could see the heavenly barometer that reads and records the secret thoughts of each person during this holy ordinance, we would have a pretty good measure of the spirituality of that person". There is such a powerful meaning to the Sacrament that we take of each week. When we teach people about the Sabbath day, we teach that we only go to the church for 1 reason - because we can pray, learn and sing anywhere, but the sacred ordinance of the Sacrament can only be done in the church.
Love you all,
Elder Warner

Monday, August 8, 2011

Transfer #5 to Monclova, Mexico

Hey all! So here it is, I'm about 4 hours out of my last area in a place called Monclova. Its in the same state, Cuahuila, therefore the same heat but drier. Here is the companion check it out, so I received my first child, or better yet infant! Our mission had a lot of missionaries go home and so we are at a lack of missionaries. So what they did is found some young men willing to serve with a missionary for 6 weeks in a few of the areas. The President threw me with one. He is an awesome kid, he's from Monterrey and is a convert at age 12- he turns 18 on Wednesday. This week was a little more difficult but we always get through with a smile.
The President had me open this area, with a fresh greenie. We do a lot of map searching, and still don't know a lot of the members. About every decision is in my hands but it has been a really good experience. Our ward is awesome and works really hard to help us. They have been a huge blessing. The people are about the same, we have someone right now who we got to church yesterday and has a baptism date for this week! We are really excited for him.
The house. Oh, the house. I’ll have to take pictures this week for you all.
This week started off different. I had been having a few stomach problems before the last change ended. I was alright till I got on the bus. We arrived at the house and were able to work until night. That night we slept very little because of the heat. The next day my head was spinning and my stomach was churning. We took a taxi to the district meeting and that did it. The motion sickness emptied me out. We got home and the mission president’s wife told me I had to stay in the house - the day after I got in my area. I had more than I could even think of to do on this day that I couldn't even sit up. We were blessed to be able to have the district leader help in my area while I was a home. Later on the bishop came over and gave me a blessing, I got out of bed a few hours later and finished the night working. It was a miracle.
Well a little about the area, here, the government does this lovely program where they only turn the water on in the whole town every other day. So one day we have water, the other is nothing but dry. We have to save up water in buckets for the following day so we can brush our teeth, wash dishes, and sometimes shower.
That's where we’re at for this week. All is well in my part of town! Love you all
Elder Warner

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 1; Transfer 5

Well here we are at the end of another transfer. I reflected a lot on the few of the important things we accomplished this transfer. Although we didn't have much success on baptism, we had a baptism. He, Joel was confirmed a member of the church yesterday, and will be having an interview on Wednesday to receive the Priesthood this upcoming Sunday.  We looked back on the first of the transfer, and noticed that we had 6 new members actively attending.  A family with 2 boys and a mother and her son, in which were found through the guidance of the Spirit in contacting.  We scored with the first family, cause now they sign up on the feed the missionaries sheet.  But the mother and her son have been a miracle.  They are very active now, and the son of 16 years received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday.  He noted to the Bishop that his strongest desire is to baptize his dad, but he said, "I would like to baptize my dad before I leave on my mission".  I was touched to know because of this work, that kids whole future turned around, every goal, wish, and hope has been turned to the Gospel.  And who knows how many lives will have the same outcome once he enters the mission field.  Bety, our last convert, finished the Book of Mormon this week.  She is very committed and strong, and had made a new goal to read all of D&C in another 6 weeks. These are the happy endings of a period of 6 weeks. A testimony of what the work of the Lord does for his children.
I have studied the Atonement in depth these past few weeks. In which, has turned myself around to broaden the view of what I can do better as one of His servants. I still have hard days being in a new country with completely different lifestyle, when at home, things could be so much easier. But "he (Christ) left a throne to inherit a manger".   I have given up some things to be here, but, "he gave up wealth, power, dominion, and the fullness of his glory for what? For taunting, mocking, humiliation, and subjection."  I have realized what He expects me to sacrifice, and I have witnessed the blessings He had waiting on my action.
That's the best I can do to summarize what was merely happened in these 6 weeks, and look forward to starting the next.
I love you all, Elder Warner