Monday, October 26, 2015

Blessings in the Smallest Moments

Hello Family,

I hope that you are all doing well. Sounds like you guys are still keeping busy back at home. Can you guys believe that Halloween is this Saturday!!! Time is just flying by. Let Jessica know that I am praying for her. I hope that she is alright.

As for Christmas treats...I would love to make the stuff that sister Ayers always gives us. Can you send me the recipe? I can find almost all of the ingredients here. Sending food in the mail, takes a lot more time because it is hard to get through customs. But I would like some Butterfinger bars. They don't exist here:( Also, if you guys could put a ton of Christmas music on a micro SD card....and recordings of you guys...and send that to me for Christmas too....that would be amazing!!!

That's crazy that Randa, and Shannon are married!!!! Let them know that I am so happy for them, and wish them all the best.

Here in Frontera we are having a blast!!! I know I say that every week....but it's true. The mission is such an amazing experience. We had some pretty big storms this week and a lot of flooding. I know that a Hurricane hit Mexico City. We got a little hit of that.

I took out another ingrown toenail this week. It was pretty big, and hurt a ton, but after 20 min, I was able to get it out. Elder Reyes took a video of it. It looks pretty cool. Right now I have a whole in my toe!! No worries, it will be okay.

This week we were preparing a ton for our baptisms this weekend. We had to get several lessons in before our investigators would be ready to pass their interviews. We taught a lot of lesson four this week. Lesson four is all of the commandments. They are so fun to teach. One thing that I have noticed is that all commandments are given to us, to help us be close to the Spirit. When we teach the commandments we focus a lot on that. We keep the Word of Wisdom so that our minds will be clear, and that our bodies can be in a state to listen to the voice of the Spirit. We pay tithing in order to receive all the blessings that God has for ourselves. Really, living the commandments isn't a restriction on our is a way that God has prepared so that we can receive more blessings from Him.

So...remember William? He is leaving on his mission TOMORROW!!! I have no idea what we are going to do without him. He knows almost everyone here in Frontera, and he is always taking us to visit his friends. He is going to be an amazing missionary. He has been the only member of his family for a whole year now. His family has always supported him, but to see the testimony that he has is amazing. For an entire year he has done everything Gospel related all by himself. When he got his mission call, we started teaching his family. They are amazing, and though they are progressing slowly, they are going to take the step of baptism soon. William has been praying for it for a long time now. On Saturday, he got to baptize his cousin Maria. That was such an amazing experience for me and for him. He was sooo happy that finally he has another family member with him. To watch him perform his first Baptism was priceless. And the huge abrazo between them both afterwards was even better. He is so excited to get out into the field.

On Friday night the young single adults organized a ward family home evening. They put us in charge of the message about missionary work. We had an amazing time. We taught members how to contact and invite their friends. Then we showed the last part of Meet the Mormons (about the missionary and his mom). Afterwards, William shared his testimony with everyone. Everyone was crying with the Spirit....including his Mom!!! It was a great night.

After the activity, we went over to his house with the rest of his family to eat dinner. Then I shared some magic tricks with them. It was a super fun night.

We also baptized Norma on Saturday. She was so excited to be baptized, and after she came out of the water....she was crying. That of course made me start crying. It is so amazing to see these people change their lives, and experience the Spirit. Her mom was there and felt the Spirit really strong. We are going to teach the rest of her family tomorrow.

Baptism of Norma and Maria.  William, who baptized his cousin Maria, is leaving for his mission tomorrow.
This weekend was the last week of the transfer so we were all waiting like a little kid for Christmas. Really, waiting for transfer calls are like that. We got the call Sunday night at 10:00. Elder Reyes and I are staying together here in Frontera!!! We are so happy and so excited for another transfer together. We will see what this next transfer has in store for us. BTW this transfer ends in December! I am so close to one year!!!!

President called us into Villahermosa idea why....but we'll see tomorrow!

I love this area, and this week I got to see how much they all love me. All the members and our investigators kept saying things from ''What will we do without you'' to ''If you leave, I am going to cry!''. When we called some members to let them know we were staying, they started to cry. It is amazing how in such a short time you can fall in love with a place. In my case, this ward! I Love serving here.

On Friday night I had a sister in the ward ask me if I would bless her baby on Sunday. I made sure that is was okay with Bishop and President Morales, and accepted. I didn't really know why she asked me.

On Sunday morning, when I took that baby in my arms, I was filled with such a calm, loving, peaceful feeling. It was amazing. I gave him his name...Iker Alonso Chable Solano...and then started giving him a blessing following the promptings of the Spirit. As the words started leaving my mouth, I began to cry. This amazing little baby had a spirit so strong. And the Love that God has for him, was overwhelming. I blessed him with things really specific following the Spirit. It was a miracle for me.

Afterwards, the miracle continued. This Sunday was fast-Sunday because next week is Stake Conference so we all bore our testimonies. This little baby's Grandmother got up to bear her testimony and shared this story. The little boy was born early and dead. After about five minutes, he started to cry, and was alive. They then started a bunch of tests on him to help get him healthy. After all that was done, he fell asleep as all newborns and everything was normal. A little later, the Grandmother had a distinct impression to check his diaper. I guess that is something you do with a newborn, and she thought that it wasn't needed. She then had the same impression again, so she checked. When she checked, she found out that the umbilical chord (I don't think I spelled that right) was not wrapped correctly, and the baby was bleeding out. She immediately called for a nurse and they saved him.

After these two miracles the little baby was fine. His mom started thinking about the blessing and started talking with the Grandmother. They talked about several priesthood holders in the ward (the baby's father is not a member) but none of them felt like the right choice. The then thought about me...and the Spirit testified to them that I was the one who would give the blessing. I started crying for the millionth time this weekend. I was so humbled. God gave me the opportunity to experience such an amazing thing. After hearing the story, the blessings that were given to this baby made sense.

Elder Cavenee had the privilege of performing the baby blessing of Iker Alonso Chable Solano.
I know that God gives us moments like this. They are moments to remind us of how much He loves us. Sometimes they are big, but mostly they are small...almost invisible. That it why it is important to look for these blessings in every moment. They exist, and they help us change our hearts and become better people. I am eternally grateful for every single one of these moments that I have. They are small witnesses to me that everything I believe and teach is real. There is no doubt in my mind. He Lives and He Loves Us. We are his children, and he wants us to be happy. Everything is possible because and through Him. He is our Savior, and Redeemer. He is our brother. He is the Son of God...Jesus Christ.

I Love you all so much and I hope that you enjoy this next week. Look for the blessings in every moment and always give thanks for these blessings.

Love Always,

Elder Cavenee

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Blessings of Dedication

Dear Family,

Another week down.  It was a very exciting week.

First off, on Monday after I wrote, we went to visit a reference that we received from a member. Her name is Norma. She is the girlfriend of a member in the ward. We went at 8:00 at night to visit her, and there is no light in her house. We had the lesson outside with only the light of the moon. It was really cool because we couldn't read out of our scriptures, so we recited all of the scriptures that we needed to use by memory. I didn't realize how many scriptures we have memorized in Spanish. It was a really cool lesson and she accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of October. We went back to visit her on Wednesday, and asked if she had prayed to know if Joseph Smith was called as a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true, and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that Christ established in the Bible. She told us that yeah...she knew it was all true. She had prayed, and had received her answer that is was all true. That was super cool for us. She has accepted everything that we have taught her. This week we are focusing on the commandments, then her baptism is on Saturday! 

My companion and me in our new apartment.
Also on Monday, I received a special invite to a District Leader Conference in Villahermosa. It was super cool. We had a specialized conference/training about all of the responsibilities as a district leader. We focused a ton on the new protocol of the Mission. Working week by week. Focusing on all of the smaller details so that the larger picture turns out more and more perfect. Every week we contact for the next week, visit the contacts from the past week and baptize the investigators that we found two or three weeks ago. For every person that we find within a week the goal is to have them ready and baptized two or three weeks later. He taught us that as district leaders we are like the Bishops of the mission. It is our responsibility to be the model for all other missionaries. President told us that all of us were in that meeting because he sees us as the missionaries that can be the model. If not...''you will not be here in the next conference''. The model is the example in everything. Obedience, teaching, contacting, and baptizing every week. I am not a district leader right now, but I am applying everything that he taught us in the meeting so that I can become a better missionary. I don't know why I was called to that meeting...what that means for me in the future...but we'll see:)

Also, I have become the chorister of the mission. Every single meeting that I go to, my name is in the program as the Chorister. It's cool.

On Wednesday we met with William's family. They have been progressing and coming to church, so we went with the intention to put a baptismal date with all of them. We had plans for them to get baptized on the 24th of October so that William could baptize them all before he left on his mission. (He leaves on the 27th!). We had a really nice lesson with them about the Plan of Salvation and at the end we invited them all to be baptized on the 24th. All of them told us that they needed a little more time except for his cousin. She accepted with a ton of enthusiasm. William is going to baptize her this Saturday. We are going to keep working with the rest of his family to help them come to the point where they feel like they are ready.

Thursday we went to Villahermosa to visit the doctor for Elder Reyes's knee. The doctor ended up telling us the same thing that he told us last time, but we got to go to Villa. William came with us. After his appointment we went and bought clothes for Elder Reyes. We went to a mall. That was a little weird. I haven't been in a mall for nine months! Everyone thought that we were super rich because we were in white shirts and ties. They were all trying to get us to buy the most expensive stuff.

On Thursday night I went with Elder Lopez to visit Javier and his family. We taught them about the power of the priesthood. We talked about how baptism is not our goal for them. It is the Temple. That a year after their baptism, they can be sealed as a family in the Temple. We are going tonight to teach them more about Temples. Hopefully the Spirit comes with us and we can get over the speed bump of the Sabbath day. They are an awesome family and I am praying that we can help them prepare for the Temple.

Saturday we had another baptism. Ernesto Rosaldo. He is 85 years old, but is the sweetest little old man. His baptism was super awesome and he received the Holy Ghost yesterday. He takes care of his two sisters who are as old as he and are sick. We are going to visit his sisters this week to see how we can help them out. We are also teaching his nephew, Eduardo, right now. He has a baptismal date for the 31st of October. 

85 year old Ernesto ready for baptism.
Working Week by Week

Elder Reyes and I have figured out how to work super well together, and to have success. We always invite our investigators to be baptized in the first lesson. With that, we can find their doubts of fears. I have started singing hymns in our lessons to invite the Spirit too. It works:) We are focusing now on growing our work. Right now we are having one or two baptisms a week. We are trying to grow that and have more. We are really seeing the blessings of dedication.

Transfers are this week. We are going to get calls on Sunday for transfers Monday. I am hoping that I don't have transfers. I want at least another transfer here in Frontera with Elder Reyes. We'll see what happens. Wherever I go, and whatever happens, it is what the Lord wants. Gotta trust in Him.

As for the weather is pouring rain almost every day and every night. It is really nice because although I am still wet all day, it is now from rain...not sweat. It has cooled down a lot and I am in love with the weather now.

Anyways...I am doing really well and I am Happy. It is so fulfilling when you work hard and focused, and then the Lord blesses you. Remember always to be thankful for your blessings.

I Love you all so much. Have an amazing week!

Elder Cavenee

P.S. Estan Invitado. These are the invitations that I made.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Working Week by Week


I am super jealous of you guys right now!!!  Here we can't see stars.  I miss star filled skies...pine scented air...and most of all....cold weather!  But hey...enjoy yourselves.  So... you guys are all on Fall break.  Can you believe that we are in the middle of October?  Time is just flying by!!!

This last week I hit my nine month mark!!!  Three more for a full year.  Really it feels like it has all passed by super fast, and the end of the year is right around the corner.  I want time to slow down a little bit. I can't get everything done that I want to.  We are so busy.  It is so fun, but super exhausting at the same time.  We get to meet a bunch of people every day.  Some of them aren't the nicest, but afterwards we just laugh it off:)  The people here in Frontera are a lot nicer than the people in my other areas.  Though all of them don't accept us, they all offer us water, or food. It is awesome!  On Thursday while we were in Villahermosa walking to the bus station, a man came running up to us, gave us each a bottle of soda, and walked away.  We stopped him and started talking to him.  He told us that he always sees missionaries walking.  He said he has no idea why we walk so much in the sun, but he wanted to share something with us to cool us off.  We wrote down his information and are going to pass it as a referral:)

The next time that you go into Serranos, tell everyone that I say hi from Villahermosa:)

Physically...I am exhausted.  Always tired, but that just comes with the work.  Elder Reyes and I have come up with different things to keep our energy up.  We play games as we are to everyone that we see....memorize scriptures.  Anything we can do to keep our minds from thinking about the tiredness.

Emotionally I am really good.  There are ups and downs...but that’s life.  Every day is really a blessing here.  I love it.

So...this week was a little slow compared to the past couple of weeks.  We didn't have a lot of new investigators...but we baptized.  Mariana had her baptism this past Saturday, and Sunday she was confirmed.  She brought a ton of friends and her family to her baptism.  We are going to start teaching some of them this week:)  She has a son named Allen.  He is four years old, and he is my best friend!!!!  He is awesome.  Mariana seems so happy, and she is seeing a change in her life since we started teaching her.  I love baptisms. 

The really old guy that we found last week is named Ernesto.  He is so awesome.  He accepts everything that we are teaching him, and he came to church.  We are planning to baptize him this Saturday.  We will see how that goes, but he is really cool.

We are still working with the family of Javier.  We hit a road block with them.  They believe that Saturday is the Sabbath day.  We have been teaching and reading with them, but they still haven't quite accepted it yet.  They still feed us all the time, and are super interested in everything else that we are teaching them.  They just need some more time.

We had zone class last Thursday.  It was really awesome.  We talked a lot about the same message from the interviews.  Working week by week.  It is a really cool system... and it is really working for us right now.  We are setting baptism goals with investigators for every weekend. My goal is to baptize every week for the rest of the year.  So week down, another one coming.  We are focusing more on the little details, and the big picture is coming together.

On Saturday we moved.  We now have air conditioning!!!!!!!!!!  It is so amazing waking up in the morning freezing and not sweating!  It is awesome.  Elder Reyes and I found this house on Tuesday, took pictures, sent them to President, he approved it, and we moved in on Saturday. This house is so amazing.  We are still unpacking, but I'll send you pictures next week when everything is put together.

We have a lot of plans for this week to meet contacts, and to visit a ton of referrals.  All in all we are keeping up the hard work, and are praying for the blessings that we need.

I Love you all so much and hope that you guys have an amazing week.


Elder Cavenee

Monday, October 5, 2015

Put In Our Path

Dear Mom and Dad and Friends and Family

This week was super amazing!!!!

We started out like any other week. Walking, contacting, sweating...having the time of our lives. Then on Tuesday morning we went to several appointments that we had set up the week before, and all of them fell through. We had two hours before lunch, and had no one to visit!!  So...we said a prayer that we could find a new investigator in our contact.  Meaning that we could contact and teach someone in the same moment.

I don't know why, but that morning was a lot harder than normal to contact. Normally we can do five effective contacts in 20 min. (Effective contact: Get the person's name, address, phone number, an appointment, and ask them for references).  Everyone was telling us no!!  After contacting for about 45min, without any success we passed this little wooden house, and felt that we needed to contact it.  We called from the gate, and nobody came. (Here you have to yell from the door, or gate).  We called again, and again...waiting for someone to come out, but no-one came. We were a little confused because we had both received the prompting to contact that house. We waited for like 10 min and no-one came. So...we headed out a little disappointed. We walked like two streets, and I felt like we needed to go back. I looked at Elder Reyes, and he had the same feeling.  We went back, and called at the house again.  Still no answer.  By now we were super confused, but we waited at the house.  After a couple more minutes, a very old man came out....super happy, and welcomed us in to talk to him. We taught him and invited him to be baptized. He accepted and is now preparing for the 17th of Oct.  And he came to conference!!!!

On Thursday we were visiting some investigators, having a blast with William.  One of our appointments fell through, and we decided to look for a reference that William had for us.  As we were walking, I was on the phone with Elder Wenzel (zone leader) talking about the details for this weekend. We passed a young woman sitting on a bench outside of her house. We passed her, and William asked us why we didn't contact her. I was on the phone, but I told them that I would wait while they contacted her. She went inside and got her Dad. He came out and invited us into his house. We taught his family lesson 1, and invited them to be baptized. They accepted a baptismal date for the 17th of Oct. They are a family of 5.  Javier and Ruth (Mom and Dad), and their 3 daughters. Heavenly Father put them in our path.  They came to conference too!!!!  It was so awesome.  That first night we ate dinner with them.  Sunday night they invited us as well, and this morning we went and ate breakfast with them.  They are so kind, and are always inviting us to eat!!!  Free food is the best by the way!!!

On Friday we had interviews with President. We had a really awesome class about rededicating ourselves to the Lord.  I guess that this past month was the worst month that the mission has had with President Morales as President. It was kind of sad because in August we were visited by an area 70, and Elder Christopherson. They praised us in how well we were doing as a mission. I guess we let our pride get ahead of ourselves and we needed to be humbled.  I shared in the class about my decision to rededicate myself to the work and to be focused, and the blessings that I have received in just a few short weeks. President was a little sad/angry because we were the best mission in Mexico, until the last month.  Anyways...this month is going to be awesome for the whole mission. We are all rededicating ourselves to the work and should have some awesome results. We are staring a week by week program to get to the point of baptizing every week.  If we do everything right, it is supposed to work.

Sister Morales gave us a pep talk about how we should be as missionaries. Super enthusiastic about the work.  Full of energy and happy. She also shared with us that we need to be proactive as missionaries. She planched everyone very hard because she sent invitations of Conference to all of us, and no one printed them out.  Then she congratulated my companion and I because we made our own invitations a few weeks ago and had been inviting tons of people. She encouraged us to think outside of the box for ways to teach and contact. Elder Reyes and I are trying to come up with some interesting ways to do it.  Let me know if you have any ideas.

For the interviews with President we had to bring a list of every single one of our investigators, their needs, and baptismal dates if they have them. President was super happy when I brought him our list with 17 baptismal dates in October!!!! We are working super hard to make all of them happen. We had a nice talk, and he gave me some advice to become a powerful missionary.

After the interviews, we went to the doctor to check out Elder Reyes' knee. One of his legs is longer then the other!!!!  We have to go back next week for an x-ray. That is exciting.  After the doctor appointment we didn't have change for a taxi, so we walked all the way to the bus station.  It took us 45min. but it was cool to see a bit of Villahermosa.

Conference was super amazing!!!  I didn't get to see it in English, but that's okay.  I still got a lot out of it.  I Loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk Saturday Morning. It was super awesome. As members of the Church, we all need to make an effort to devote our time and energy to things that truly matter, uplifting others, and building up the Kingdom of God.  God will take us as we really are, right now, and will work with us. All we need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord. With him, the gospel can change our lives. I see that in so many lives here...including mine!!!

I also loved Elder Holland’s talk about mothers. Mothers really are devoted...and are willing to sacrifice and suffer in order to help their children.  Mom, I want to personally thank you for everything you have done for me. You will always have a special place in my heart.

President Thomas S. Monson said something that all of us should take to heart. ''As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions.''  I encourage all of you to think about that. With this courage, you will be an example and a light to everyone. You won't be scared to invite or share your beliefs. Have the courage to be an example and a light.

There were a thousand more things that I learned and loved about conference. Today I downloaded a bunch of the talks in English and I will be listening to them all week!!!

We had a grand total of 8 investigators that came to the Conference. That puts us at 11 that we can baptize this month. (Every investigator has to come to church before they can be baptized). We are working with a bunch of others to get more people prepared for this month.

Mariana is supposed to get baptized this Saturday. We are going to visit with her tonight to figure out the little details!!!!

Here in the mission, we memorize a scripture every week...assigned by Pres...but I am also going to start doing my own. The difference is that they will all be in Spanish:) Mine this week is D&C 101:38.

Hey....our mission has a Facebook page. You should look for it because they upload baptism pictures every week.

I am going to miss Thanksgiving...they don't have it here, but there is Dia de los Muertos. It starts November 2nd and goes for like all of November.

Good luck at yet another Homecoming!!!! are super popular!!! I like both of the dresses. Elder Reyes and William say the sparkly one:)  You are super beautiful Jenna. Have Fun!!!!

As for Christmas....Things I would like: Rubiks Cube, Yo-yo (the one that you sent before broke), sour gummy worms, and an American Flag.
Things I need: A new backpack. One like the one I have. One with a shoulder strap and a waist strap. The one I have is falling apart. It will last me until Christmas, but I will need another.

If I think of anything else...I'll let you know.

Thanks again for everything!!!! I Love You so much.


Elder Cavenee

P.S. Today we rented the Go-Karts in Centro!!!