Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First Week Counting Down

Hello Family,

How are all of you doing? Second week of the year has past:) How are you all feeling? I hope that you are all still on track with your new years resolutions.

This is the El Viejo (Old Man) tradition that they do on New Year's...they burn it at midnight.

So...this week was crazy. On Tuesday, my companion and I went to Villahermosa for the mission leadership council.  It was an awesome meeting where we talked about all that we need to do in order to improve as a mission. We set some new goals and standards of excellence. Our new mission saying is: In this mission we teach the doctrine of repentance in order to baptize new converts every week. We realized that as a mission we were focusing a lot on baptism, and with that, we found a lot more success. But, if we focus more on teaching and inviting people to repent, their progress accelerates and their conversion is greater. It is really amazing to see how the spirit in our lessons have changed, and how the progress of our investigators have changed. In the first lesson, when we teach them about the Holy Ghost, we teach them that in order to feel the Holy Ghost more in their lives, they need to repent of their faults.  I like using a scripture in Mosiah 4:2-3.  It talks about how the people repented of their sins, and were filled with the Spirit. We then invite them to pray to their Heavenly Father, and ask forgiveness for all of their sins.  We then teach about baptism and how they can receive the Holy Ghost forever.  It is really amazing to see our investigators in the second lesson. They feel different, and they want more. 

We also set a new standard of finding 20 new investigators every week. That is a lot of news a week, but we are giving everything we can to be able reach these goals and set the example for the zone.

I sang for that council and it turned out really well.  I think that when I sang for the ward party turned out the best, but it was good.  Several Sisters (and Elders) were crying.  It was cool.  I wasn't able to record it thought.  My companion was going to, but he didn't press the right button....oh well:)

I don't have my visa right now because the mission is getting it renewed for my second year. It is very risky to travel without your visa, because is the government officials ask for it, nad you don't have it...they take you to jail.  I was on my way back to Agua Dulce that night, and the officials stopped the bus and were checking for visas. They asked me for mine, but I didn't have it.  I explained the situation, but they weren't accepting my excuse. One of them finally said to the other ''Wait a second, those are the Mormons. We can't mess with them!'' The other then asked us if we were Mormons. We told him yes, and they told me not to worry. Then they just left us. That was super cool:)  I almost got arrested, but was saved because I am a missionary. Makes me super proud of my nametag:)

Wednesday we had a difficult day. All of our appointments in the morning fell through, so we spent the morning walking around in the rain trying to find some new investigators. We spent 3 hours walking in the rain. Nobody wanted to listen to us.  My companion was super frustrated.  He wanted to go and visit members to get out of the rain, but I told him that there was someone waiting for us.  I felt it.  About half an hour before lunch, we were walking past a really nice house, and I decided to contact it.  From the gate we yelled ''buenas tardes'' and waited for someone to come...but nobody did at first. We waited ten minutes and just as we were about to leave, someone came out of the house.  She was leaving, but she told us that we could come back in the afternoon. We went back, and ended up putting a baptismal date with her and her daughter. It was really cool.

In the afternoon we several lessons and some really good contacts. At seven, we went to the house of a member to participate in the tradition of the los Reyes Magos. They make a special cake, with little dolls inside. Everyone cuts their own piece, and if you end up with a doll, then you have to bring tamales to the party on February 4th.  Luckily I didn't get a doll, but it was really good.  We ate it with hot chocolate:)  The sister also gave us new ties. The tradition is that on the 6th of January, the three Kings come at night and leave presents for children. So...the kids here get presents on Christmas, and then again two weeks later:)

Thursday we had zone class. It went really well. Several of the Elders in my zone told me afterward that it was one of the best zone classes that they have been in during their mission....and they all had more time than me. That was cool.  As a mission we are all going through the 12 week program again.  New missionaries and old ones. The 12 week program is what new missionaries study in their first 12 weeks.  It's the basics of missionary work.  So...we are all being trained again:)

After zone class, Elder Barrientos went to Villa to work with the Assitants in divisions, and I stayed in 4 Caminos and worked with Elder Najera. One of the secretaries.  He is really cool.  He is from Buckeye, but his parents are from Chiuaua.  Friday night we went into Villa to drop off Elder Najera and pick up my companion.  We stayed the night, and headed back on Saturday morning.

Saturday we had a practice for our devotional, and it went really well. We came up with new ideas that are going to make it so much better.  On Sunday we had another practice with our nararators. It is really cool. I am so excited for Friday when we are having the devotional. It is going to be super awesome!
Elder Cavenee and his Zone practicing for the Devotional

I finally bought shoes on Saturday!

Today is Elder Valazquez'z birthday!!! We ate cake and tortas:) Tonight we are going to go and eat more cake.

Tomorrow morning we are going to milk cows!!!! I will send pictures of that next week. It is going to be super fun!!!

I love you all and hope that you all have an amazing week.


Elder Cavenee

Pictures: Reyes Cake
Devotional Practice

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