Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Mexico, Monterrey West Mission

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 6 - Last week of this change!

HEY FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!! How was your week? I can't believe mine is over already! Here's to a new one......

Well, I would like to share a few things I have learned in this past change. There are many, many things I was able to learn, one of which is taking the initiative.
I learned of the importance of acting for yourself.  One of my favorite drawing artists once quoted that, "many people never use their initiative because no one ever told them to."
The importance of what I have learned has helped me act upon impressions according to what I felt was right.  In this last change, there were many moments as we were walking past someone on the street, or a door, that I felt impressed by the Spirit to contact it, but had the mentality of, "Well, we're in a hurry for an appointment and I'm almost sure my companion will get angry, etc." This being a small example of which, I was able to see the blessings of acting upon what I felt I should do, or what was right in that moment despite negative thoughts or opposition.  For example, the family in the picture is a lady we contacted in the street while in a hurry to get home at night.  Maybe we were anxious to get home in the moment, but from taking the initiative, they are now applying the Gospel in their lives.
One other thing I would also like to share with you throughout these next few weeks are 6 goals I placed last June 2011. In the time of placing these goals, I thought for a long time of specific things I needed and desired to change in my mission, all of which have dates to accomplish them.
Goal 1: HOPE!  Develop the attitude necessary to always press forward knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Develop more faith and trust in the Lord that He will fulfill His promises to me. Overcome discouragement! (accomplish by 3-21-11)
I browsed through a few journal entries applying to the topic:
MTC-(LANGUAGE) 11-6-10 -- "..... I know that prayer and faith will help me receive the Gift of Tongues. I will continue to pray my heart out."
IDAHO-(BITTER COLD) 1-17-11 --"..... Tracting in bitter cold, not much success, but there is always tomorrow."
MONCLOVA-(SUCCESS) 8-24-11 -- "..... The devil plays such a grand part in each of our personal faith. I have noticed it is such a simple trigger, such as our thoughts of hope, or in opposition - thoughts of discouragement and failure... it has been interesting finding out that our success is based on thoughts of hope.  Such a simple thought change creates such a dramatic outcome and allows the Lord to do His part."
These are only a few examples and learning opportunities I came across. I have learned that the cure is TRUST. 
I look forward to another incredible opportunity in this next change, starting today! 
Love you all. The work is true, and marvelous.
Elder Warner

Hey sweet mom!! How are you!?!?
Things are flyin' over here. I am really excited for changes tonight to see what happens. Whatever happens, it will be the best change of my mission. 
I was happy to hear of the many things you told me in your last email, including about Taran and his farewell/my homecoming. That will be awesome. 
Yes, I got my flight itinerary. I try not to think about it. But I will be flyng to Texas, to California, to Utah and arriving around 7:30 at night. 
Also, does the bishop have a certain topic he would like me to talk on or how is that going to work?
Ok, enough of that talk......
It sounds like things are going really well over there. Same over here! I only wish my emails could express fully what this mission means to me! I try to touch a little on the things I learn, but it just doesn't come out fully. Either way, just know I am learning soooo much each day.
I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!
And I love you!!! Thanks for all you do, you're incredible.
Love, Bryan

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 5 in Las Puentas!

HEY HEY! What a week! 
How did everyones week go?!
Let me get a little caught up on a few of the things that happened last week..
Starting with interviews with the President: they were awesome. They lasted a little longer than normal, so he could get to know everyone a little better.  One thing I really loved that he talked to me about was his goals and focuses on the mission. As of now, his main concern is converting the missionaries before the missionaries convert the investigators.  He talked a lot about obedience and how many missionaries go through the motions because they don't take the rules seriously. It's more of them going through the mission, rather than the mission going through them.

Following, we were able to have Leadership Council. There were a lot of new faces from all of those that left last change.  And next week we will have 6 more leaving. The majority of the council focused on a new method of missionary work that will be taking place in November.  The area presidency has been inspired to change a selected few of Mexico's missions into working purely with the members --- for the cause that there are so many who are baptized and quickly fall away from the lack of friendship and support in the church. 

We also were able to go on "crazy divisions" in the zone with the objective to help some of the missionaries see some of the blessings they become accustomed to and forget about. It went really well and the majority came back after 2 days ready to return to their areas to work. I had the opportunity to bring my MTC companion back to my area and work with him for a few days.

Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple and we were one of the first to get there so I was able to snatch the Book of Mormon and open it to read some of the answers and council I have been looking for in these last few days and weeks. I love the temple! Following, we, being three zones, went to a buffet. Normally after those events the restaurant puts signs in the door that says, ´No Mormon missionaries allowed´ from the amount of food they eat. I have heard it's happened before. Then we were able to do a little Mexico shopping on the ghetto strips. 

P.S. I forgot to mention that we had a ward activity that we organized. it was themed on the Tree of Life where our convert, Bibiano had to follow the "iron rod" or in this case a string blind folded, then we took off the blind fold and tempted him with coke, cup cakes, and music like the scripture says eat drink and be merry. He had one of the young men (acting as the holy ghost) try to keep him on the path while all of us were trying to tempt him to stray from the path.  At the end of it all, his wife was there with a branch we broke off from a tree acting as the tree of life. It was a cool message that the members liked!
-The zone
-Notche Mexicana! we were able to bring a few investigators, not to mention Bibiano's (our convert) wife rehearsed with the Relief Society to do a dance, it was awesome.
-These poor little lambs are delicacies here in Mexico! 

-This is a little lady we ran into contacting. I told her that her monkey hanging on her door was cute and she went inside and got scissors to cut it off and gave it to me. Also we were able to help her out and throw those cigarettes away.

Next time we talk, we'll be at changes, well see what happens!!! 

Love you all!

Elder Warner 
Hey sweet mom!!! How are you doing!?!?  How was your long week? It feels like i havent talked to you in forever! Well, I just feel happy right now. Another thing you mentioned, I am very, very blessed to be able to stay in an area to see the progress of these incredible investigators and converts!! The majority of the people here know me and we always wave and what not. I wouldnt mind staying here another change. Well, things are going by a little too quickly.  But, I'm enjoying every moment, easy or difficult. It all pays off.  I hope you are doing well. You're my super hero!  I love you mom! Bryan

Love this picture!  
It just exudes the pure joy of these missionaries!
Taken outside of the Monterrey, Mexico temple

Tree of Life activity with the members

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 4 - BAPTISMS!!

Huge week!! Starting with the people in white:
This is Hermano G. and his wife L. Before I explain a little about them, finding them applies with something I have learned and am learning.
I have seen that even though we work our (butts) off there are many times we don't have the results we hope for. It could stay that way for as long as we let it. But the key is throwing in faith and confidence. If we're doing all we can without results, relying on the Lord in faith will bring results. Many times we lack that part of the process.
We didn't find this married couple but rather they found us.  A few Sundays ago, they were walking to go buy groceries and all the sudden felt something pull them into the church doors (not literally but a very strong impression).  Recently, their marriage has lost nearly every materialistic possession, forcing them to have to live with the wife's brother.  But also humbling them to realize they are going no where without God's help.  They loved church, they have read and studied well everything we have left them and more.
I had the opportunity to baptize them both.  The sister was very anxious and excited and told her husband she was going first. The brother was a little nervous standing in the water, but rising up, he stood there with a smile on his face soaking in the incredible feeling at the time.
The other, rather fragile man, was a reference from a 12 year old less active. When we told him that the reference he gave us was going to be baptized he felt really special and since has been going to church, yesterday he passed the sacrament.  This is 78 year old J. M. He has had many trials in his life and a family that has basically abandoned him. He has expressed that what we have taught him fills an emptiness of what he has been bearing for so many years of his life.
My companion and I are so grateful to be instruments in guiding these people but we well understand that they entered these waters, not because of us or our abilities, but rather because of the Gospel and the Spirit.
Elder Warner

In response to his dad riding the Lotoja this past weekend: 
Dad, I think bike races are very applicant to missions. 
  • Unexpected trials that we have to control or overcome, ourselves, even in the ´dark´.
  • At times we feel we don't have our complete strength and wonder how will we finish. 
  • We see oppositions that can disanimate, scare, and affect us.
  • There are always two supporters behind you, guiding you.....
Well, as you can see we had a great week. Things just go better when you love people instead of trying to make them do something that you want. 
Now get some rest....... 
Elder Warner

In response to his sweet Aunt Kris:
How was your week?? Mine was incredible. Every day in the mission is incredible, as you know.
I liked your comment of the few things that the mission teaches us. 
One of the greatest things I've learned is that we manage what we learn. We are agents in allowing trials or happy moments to teach us life lessons. I've tried to never let an experience, difficult or easy, to not teach me something. Because we can learn from EVERYTHING.
I hope you are doing awesome. I hope you feel my prayers and love on your side of the world.
Your sobrino,
Elder Warner

With Elder Hemsley - love this mission!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Week 3!

HEY!!! Good afternoon!
What a quick week! Well, this week was awesome! Sitting in the Gospel Principles class made me realize a little more how much I love this work.
From sitting in the class and looking around, having Hermano Bibiano next to my left with his wife, following Hermana Berta to my right with the less active mother that has been reactivated, with my companion sitting by 3 other investigators that showed up. That is basically the whole class.
I felt and feel extremely blessed to be part of these little moments that make me feel the way I do.
Other than that this week I had a small special experience that maybe I'll share a little about. 
We went to the lunch appointment with one of the sisters in the middle of the week. When we got there, her husband who is not a member sat down and ate with us, which rarely happens. As we started talking we led towards the topic of the Atonement.  Her husband, not being a religious man of any sort, or to have any interest in it turned and asked me a simple question that really surprised me:  "What is the Atonement?"  I sort of sat there thinking how I could possibly answer the question. After opening the Book of Mormon and sharing a few scriptures, we tried to clear the basics of what is the Atonement.  After leaving and throughout the night I really meditated on how I could answer that question appropriately.  I came to the conclusion that there is no possible way to explain fully what it really is. No body on this earth can fully comprehend what the Atonement of Jesus Christ is in its fullest.  If I were to explain this, being the key stone of my testimony, I would say now, that the Atonement is the ´only hope we have for a meaningful life´.
To my knowledge the Bible mentions the word Atonement 3 or 4 times. As opposed to the Book of Mormon which mentions it 30 - 40 times.  This principle is the most basic and general of every aspect of our religion, and it is the least understood of all.  My invitation is that every one of you can study the Atonement from the Book of Mormon. It will change your week and help in anything you need.  Love the work!

Elder Warner