Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 4 - Baptisms!

Hello everybody!!   Which event do I start with?   Huge week. Well, we'll go with the baptisms first.  This is 42 year old B. and 9 year old N. We found B. about a month ago searching for the address of a less active.  We came to a halt in the street looking at our map.  We figured it's easier to ask someone that lived near, so we turned left and saw this man with an incredible mustache sitting outside playing with his dog.  As we were asking him about the direction I figured out that what we asked wasn't even the right number, but he oddly offered to take us to the house.  We were about to say no, that we were going the wrong way, but we figured it's an awesome opportunity to share the Gospel for a few minutes.  As he was taking us to the supposed house we were looking for, we asked if he wanted to hear our message.  He said yes.  We asked when, and he told us when we are done visiting our appointment.  We went back and taught a short principal and invited him to church.  He and his wife showed up the next day. Later on, his wife told us she was extremely confused because every time preachers come to the door, he wasn't interested, and when we showed up, he told her that he was going to church and asked if she wanted to join him.  For the first few weeks, he tried working around the baptismal invitation, not feeling ready.  So we visited with him once or twice in the week.  We decided to fast on a Friday and went back to teach him Saturday and he accepted the baptismal invitation for the following week!  His wife is really excited for him, she bought him a new white shirt and pants.   For N., she is the daughter of an active mom and sister. They are recent converts of about 4 years and go to church every week. We're not sure why they never got around to planning her baptism but the mom one day at church came up to us and asked if we could start teaching N. the lessons so that she can be baptized.   Thank you for your prayers.  As you can see, they were heard. 
We also had our Zone conference this week. It went really well. The themes were helping investigators become agents rather than objects. As well as helping ourselves as missionaries become agents. What this means, is that we help people find their own reason to follow the Gospel, rather than making people follow it because they should.  Also, we had an activity with the stake where our zone and many young men got together in an area and went out and contacted the people. It was a cool experience showing these future missionaries what its like to share the truths we know.  I love the work. My testimony is strengthened every day because of it.  It's all true.
Love you all, Elder Warner

HI my sweet mom!! How are you doing!?!? How was your week? How is it going in the hospital?  
We're doing awesome over here, as you already know. To answer a few things, I love my companion. He is a great guy and super funny. We get along really well. President and sister Swapp are awesome. They talked a bit in the Zone conference. The zone is doing all right, there are a few companionships that are struggling, which makes things a lot more difficult. Tomorrow were going on splits to see if we can help any. The weather is tolerable.  I'm sweating a storm right now as I write you. I really liked the story you shared about technology last week.  Alot of it is very true.  I have seen it play a great example while being here on the mission.  There are times you would love to have your ipod, phone, computer, etc. but we are privileged to be reminded of what's important while we continue to live without these tools at our fingertips constantly. 

I loved the pictures of the parade in Bountiful and the Stripling Warriors! I look forward to going next year.  About Mexican customs and sending packages, all I need is the journal. We're almost finishing up the second book I bought. I hope you are doing well and loving every day. You're the best mom and person that exists. I love you dearly. I hope you know that!Love your son, Bryan

Monday, July 23, 2012

So busy!

Hey Everyone!! Have you ever heard me say that this was the fastest week ever? My week was great! As you heard a little busy! I can't even remember my name. Well, excuse my lack of details and explanation. I'm still here in the same area. I will be here another 2 months because I'm sending my comp home and I will have to be here to guide the next missionary that comes to this area. Then I will go to a new place for my last change.  
Well, last week we had our leadership meeting Wednesday and Thursday. Normally, it's the first week of changes but with the new President and all, it was postponed. In which we were also informed that we have Zone conference on Tuesday, which has allowed us 3 days to plan for it. Or in other words, today's preparation day is dedicated to hurry and get this thing planned.

The meeting was really awesome, and as you can guess a lot different with a new President. What I liked most about it, is that President is still new and hardly knows anything about the mission. He is expected to arrive here and base any and everything on what the Spirit guides him to do. We were able to help out with fixing and adjusting new mission rules. Basically everything is the same with just a few new ideas.  I'll inform you all next week on how it went. For this week, I ask if you can pray for Hermano Viviano, and Hermanita Naomi.
Thanks all, I love you!  Elder Warner

Mom, I am so excited for the Salt Lake mission news. I love hearing that it is picking up so quickly!!!  So exciting!! Those goals are awesome. That's really good they are challenging you all to share the Gospel. We all need to be part of it!!!  How was it with the sister missionaries?!?  I want to cook for the missionaries when I get back!!!  That's always been my dream to have dinner with them. As for now, sorry, I'm on the run. I want you to know I love you to death.  Keep smiling! Bry

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week Two in Las Puentes

Hey Fam and Friends!  What a week over here. How was yours?
I finally pulled out the camera. Here's my companion and I by a tree we always walk under. I think its funny 'cause I basically have to do the limbo and he just walks right under.
We've picked up the slack on talking with everyone in the street. It's easy to fall in to customs to focus on the appointments you have or the places you're going and forget about all the people around you.Well, there were a lot of events this last week. I'll focus on one of them that really helped me. It was good to receive a phone call from the bishop asking if we could speak in church.  As you could guess we spoke on missionary work.  Our ward has been on a slight decline for a bit so I prayed hard to know what I could talk on to help them out a little. I found a talk in the Liahona (Ensign) titled "What is worth it?"  It shares a few experiences of following spiritual impressions and sharing the Gospel. I focused a lot on how fortunate we are to have this gift and helping each of our lives to guide us to others, in whom we can change their lives.  Also, I felt the need to share one of my favorite bible stories in John 21. In this chapter, it talks about Christ's Disciples as they went out to fish.  How these men are literal fisherman that know everything about fishing, the time, location, temperature, etc. and one morning they come back from a long night of fishing.  But they all came back to shore with empty nets.  When they got to shore, they saw a man that they did not recognize.  This man (being a carpenter) told them to go back out and cast their nets to the right side and they would find fish (as if it were some random person off the street telling one of you how to manage your business you have professioned, you would think that person is crazy) but they went back out and cast their nets.  The results were that after the nets were so heavy, that they couldn't even lift them in the boat and had to drag it to shore.  When they arrived back to shore they saw this Man with some sticks and fire ready to cook for them.  They knew from the miracle that this Person was the Savior. Christ began to talk with one of the Disciples named Peter asking him a profound question, "Peter, do you love me?" He responded, "yes of course". Christ then tells him 'feed my sheep'. Christ continues to look at him and repeats the question, "Peter, do you love me?" He answers, "You know I love you Lord." "Then feed my sheep". At this point Peter feels unsure and a little puzzled. Christ then asks him one last time, "Peter, do you love me?" He responds, "Lord you know all, and you know I love you." Then the Savior profoundly states, "then feed my sheep".  I noticed in this that the Lord doesn't say, "if thou loves me, go to church or mutual". (even though they are very important) but rather that Peter shares the Gospel with all. This is so crucial and essential for the Savior that we can share what we have with our brothers and sisters.
This helped me a lot to realize that just as we have our prize possessions, ipods, laptops, who knows what, just as Peter and the other Disciples most prized possessions were fish. And Christ looked at them and asked if they loved Him more than their most prized possession.  It's the exact same with us. Do we love Him more than what He has blessed us with? But actually think about the question.  I Love this work. I know it's the most important thing I could ever be doing. And I know it's true.
I love you all, Elder Warner

Monday, July 9, 2012

First week in new area - Las Puentes!

Buenos Dias Todos!!  How is everyone doing?? How was your 4th of July?! 

Well, mine applies a little with transfers. Maybe you remember last year when I sent home a picture of us 4 missionaries on the roof watching fireworks from Texas?  In the picture there is a little chaparito Mexicano.  He's my new companion!  We were able to spend another 4th of July together here in Las Puentes.  They're having me send him home as well. Which means I will be in this area another 3 months.  This week went really well with him, I'll tell you a little about him:  He's from a place called Oaxaca (pronounced Wu-hacka) he as well, is 21 and has 5 weeks left on the mission.  He has 5 brothers.  His dad passed away when he was 7 and he's excited to see his family in a little bit. He worked before for a fruit industry cutting bananas from trees.  The food they eat is insane. He says they have quarter size ants and grasshoppers that they eat as the meal. And they love it. As you get the hint, it's a little more humble over there. He's a humble, animated guy, and we're ready to send him off strong.  Other than that this week, we had mini interviews with the new President! They seem like really great people. President has had a lot of experience with missions serving his own and another with his wife in a foreign country. His wife is really nice, she seems a little nervous with the Spanish but she can bear a strong testimony in the language.

As for the holiday I had a few little experiences that helped me remember how blessed we are.  Last Monday, when I was with my young men companion, we were at his house and as his dad left for work, they had a family prayer.  In the prayer, they expressed their gratitude to live in a country where it is permitted to worship God.  Later on, I read an email from my Aunt as well, expressing her gratitude for the freedom of the country we (you all) live in. (She is the wife of a veteran).  Shortly after, we ate with a member who shared with us that before, "Mormons" couldn't get many of the jobs from their religion.   It all helped me remember how grateful I am to be able to pray without worrying if I will be persecuted as it was before. I'm grateful that now, nearly all the companies search for members of this church to be their employees. And I'm grateful for this free country. I pay honors to my Uncle Doug for this day for fighting for what we all have.   We're very fortunate. You all live in a dang good place, realize it.  I love you all and wish the best of this upcoming week!

Elder Warner

Saying farewell to his wonderful Mission Presidents - President and Sister Romney.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Mission President!

Edward Morris Swapp, 58, and Jayne Dearden Swapp, four children, Greenwood Village Ward, Denver Colorado Stake. Brother Swapp, a missionary in the Caribbean Area Office, is a former bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, stake Young Men president, stake mission president, ward mission leader, ward Young Men president and missionary in the Uruguay/Paraguay Mission. Retired vice president, retail marketing, Gary-Williams Energy Corp. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Morris Farnsworth and Afton McDonald Swapp.
Sister Swapp serves with her husband as a missionary in the Caribbean Area Office and is a former counselor in ward Primary, Young Women and Relief Society presidencies, ward Young Women president and Cub Scout leader. Born in Fillmore, Utah, to Boyd Beauregard and Edith Stott Dearden.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Final week of Transfers! President and Hma Romney released, President and Hma Swapp arrive

That may have been one of the fastest weeks. Let's see if I can remember it all.  Well, lets start off with the baptism.  About a month ago, we contacted a house that we saw a family who was outside cooking.  We normally have to present ourselves and ask if we can shake their hand to have a face to face conversation in the contacts.  They were one of those while in mid-sentence, they just told us to open the gate and come in.  We started asking if they have met our companions before, and they said one time they were visiting her daughter.  We took it as an opportunity to return back and  see if they were interested.  When we went back, they all listened but they weren't too committed to the homework we left  (thats an easy clue to find out if they have a desire to know more or not).  When we returned again, 15 year old Jasmine read it all and  was really interested in it all.  We ended up finding out she knew a lot of the members at church which helped us out in our lessons.  Her family is very supportive and kind.  We will see if soon or the later future if they will have more of a desire to recieve the Gospel.  Pray for them please!!! (familia Martinez)
Second thing: Mission President.  Well, that was a little emotionally exhausting. I have grown to absolutely love President Romney and Sister Romney. They have been my parents here in Mexico. I know they have done all they needed to do and now it is their time to go but still it stinks.  We had a final conference with them on Thursday. It was awesome!  It wasn't so much of a goodbye, but rather getting to know them a little more. President told us a few of his funny mission stories and Sister Romney gave us all some needed advice. President left us with a blessing and they left.  As for my companion and I, we had to get everyone back to their areas so that we could  have lunch with President Romney and his wife for the last dinner for my companion.  We had an awesome authentic Mexican lunch.  My companion had his final interview and we took off (last picture with them, can you tell it's sunny?)  I am anxious to get to know President and Sister Swapp.  I was just informed that they we will have mini interviews this week. Pray for them as well, please!
Third: Well, I sent my American companion off yesterday. We were happy to work up until literally the last few minutes of his mission work here in Mexico.  It was sad for me seeing him in his last few contacts he will ever do as a representative of Christ.  Right now, he should be on the plane heading back to his family in California.  You can pray for him as well.
As for me, I am with one of the young men as my companion until tomorrow as we meet up for transfers. I will be getting the calls for the changes of the zone tonight. I love this part because its the best opportunity to mess around with them.  I send my love from a few miles away.....  Elder Warner

Dear mom,  How was your week??  Mine was good over here. I would say it was one of those little more exhausting ones, but emotionally exhausting.  My generation is up on the higher ranks so all of our friends we know are taking off home. That is fine to deal with, but I think it was a little harder for me to accept that my "parents" as of the last year and a half have completed their mission here.  It is going to be a good change though. I will really miss President and Sister Romney. I am also anxious to meet the new president and his wife.  I hope I can hear a few good words from you today.   It was weird seeing my companion go. He quite honestly couldn't discern of his feelings.  He didn't know if he was sad, excited, nervous or what. It was weird for me seeing someone on their last contacts and lessons they will ever teach.  One of my journal entries talked about this.  How I can't really imagine myself getting to that point. I don't see myself finishing anytime soon. I feel like this is my life.  What I am.  And there is so much more to do.  I think I as well, will feel very awkward knowing that I will no longer be what I have been for 2 years. I feel strange we are coming on 20 months. That's kinda old isnt it? Ahh.   Lets not talk about it.  I love you, mom.  Have a great week..... Bry

 Elder Warner and the two people he has loved most on his mission - Pres and Hma Romney.  Picture taken right before they were released as Mission Presidents.