Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 15: Time that I get to spend with the family

What a great week! Skyping home was a blast! I still can't believe that you got a dog.. I'm sure Bethanie is loving that. Christmas was a bit different for me this year, a lot different from any others my entire life. But I still really enjoyed it, especially getting to talk to the family! That's what really made it feel like Christmas, because Christmas for me really is the time that I get to spend with family. 

This week the work has been a little slower because of the holliday. Weeks feel really weird when you don't work as much. And this week we won't be working as much either because of the new year. It will be nice when things get back to normal. 

Sunday I woke up and had a horrible stomech ache... I don't know what it was that caused it, but it hurt. a lot. During sacrement meeting I probably had to run to the bathrrom about five times. Everyone wasn't kidding when they said that you hadn't experienced diaria until you came to Mexico... The good thing is you only get it once! It just lasts two years... ;) 

Well I don't have a whole lot of time right now, so sorry if this letter is a bit short. I kind of told everything in Skype anyways ;) Thank you for all of your support! It was so wonderful to see all of you and how well you're all doing! Christmas looked like it was a blast! And the theater room looks amazing! and.. we have a dog. I still can't get over that. 

Love you!
Elder Twede

Week 14: Goodbye to my Trainer

I have a lot to write today! hopefully I can get it all in on time! ok. to start. We had our mission wide Christmas activity, it was a lot of fun as we did a white elephant gift exchange (I got a piƱata that I gave to the kids that live downstairs when I got home) Afterwards each zone put on a skit. My zone did a skit about the Lion King but with missionaries. I got chosen agains't my consent to be Elder Simba. It was actually pretty fun to perform again and sing on a stage. We change the words to songs like "Oh I just can't wait to be senior companion" (it works a lot better in spanish...) and for can you feel the love tonight I got a dear john letter and sang it all sad. It seemed to be a hit with everyone. 

After the Christmas activity I had to say goodbye to my trainer Elder West. It was a sad moment but that the mission life for ya, lots of change. It's weird to think that he's back in Utah now. 

Funny story time. So I was teaching a lesson and there was this little boy there. He walked up to me and just started staring at me with his eyes super wide. After I had glanced back at him a few times and looked at my companion in confusion he finally asked in a somewhat concerned voice "why are your eyes blue?" I thought it was super funny. 

So last week I mentioned that we got a new bishop and I was pretty excited. Well I wasn't as excited as the members... It's actually kind of sad how much the less active members rejoice when we tell them. It's probably about the aquivilant to how the people rejoiced when they were freed from Pharoah. This last Sunday we had 17 less active members come to church. 

Well since it's Christmas time we've been focusing a lot on the life of Christ in our lessions. I really love using the example of Christ to help show people what we should been striving to be. There's a scripture that I really like in Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" I actually like this scripture more in spanish because it uses the word served in the the place of ministered. Christ came to the earth to serve, not to be served. During this holliday season it can be easy to get caught up in what we want for Christmas. But if we take and apply the example of Christ and use this time of the year to focuse more on how we can serve others rather than recieve stuff, it will be a much more rewarding Christmas. 

Merry Christmas everyone! The birth of our Savior truly is a thing to rejoice in! remember that when you start to get stressed over getting ready for the hollidays. Just remember to enjoy it!

Love Elder Twede

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 13: We have made a lot of progress

Well to start we had transfers this week. I stayed in my area with Elder Cardenas and Elder West until he leaves, which will be this Thursday. Elder Cardenas is from Monterrey and doesn't speak very much English, but he's really awesome and I'm super excited to be companions with him! I should be able to get a lot better at speaking Spanish with him as my companion now. I still really struggle with small talk, I can teach a lesson fine.. somewhat.. but it's when I have to talk about random stuff that I'm at a complete loss. 

This week we had a huge suprise when our bishop was released and the second counselor was called as bishop. I'll be honest I'm super excited! He's just about one of the most humble guys I've ever met! We're assuming that church attendance is going to shoot up now, which is pretty sad, but true. The first week we arrived in this ward there were 39 in church, yesterday there were 110! So we have made a lot of progress, but there's a lot more inactive members that could be coming. 

Every Saturday we've been teaching am English class, we usually have around 10 people show up and we even have a family with 3 daughters that can get baptized! We've been teaching them and last night we set a date for them to get baptized on the 4th! But as far as the English class goes, I'm worried about next saturday because Elder West will be gone by then and my companion doesn't speak English. So I'll probably be teaching the whole thing. 

This week I studied in Alma and the story of Ammon. I love his example of confidence in the Lord. It's something that I've been striving to have more of, because it takes confidence to talk to stangers in a language that I can't speak very well. Ammon had complete confidence in that he would be protected and the Lord would create a way for him to preach the gospel. I sometimes feel like I don't fullfil my purpose as a missionary just because I let myself get in the way of the spirit. I'm still in search of how I can have more confidence in the promise in D&C 84:85 that we will be given what we need to say right in the moment when we need it. That is if we treasure of the words of life in our minds, meaning we need to study and learn about the doctrines of Christ in order to recieve this promise.

one thing that I want to mention is I don't think dearelders are really worht it. I'd rather you just send me an email and I can print it out! that way I can get stuff every week and not get things 4 weeks after you've writen them. 

Well that's about it for this week. Thank you for your support and love! I love you all so much!

Elder Twede

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 12: Perfect situations to act in faith

Well it's official, I'm no longer a trainee! Twelve weeks in Mexico and now it's off into the big world without my trainer. Well, that's not exactly true. Elder West goes home on the 19th, and he'll be staying with me and my new companion until then :) So I still have another week with my dad! But for my brother Elder Huefner, He'll be on the opposite end of the mission, about as far away as he could get from me because I'm on the furthest corner on the other side of the mission.

I can already tell that it's getting harder to write my emails in English, not that I'm always thinking in Spanish, but I do think in Spanish for a lot of the little words. Don't be surprised if in the not to far future I start throwing in Spanish words without noticing. But that shouldn't really be a problem for you, you always have google to translate for you ;)

Yesterday we had another opportunity to go to the temple again with our ward! We took an investigator and after walking around the visitors center we watched the Christmas devotional in a stake center next door. I'll admit I didn't really understand anything in the devotional except for the hymns because it was in spanish. But it was really cool to be there with an investigator. Walking around the temple grounds with all of the Christmas lights really hit me that it's so close to Christmas. Up until now I haven't really noticed, but it made me think of temple square and how beautiful Utah looks during this time of year. The temple grounds here were really beautiful, but Utah is just.. Utah. I never realized how beautiful it was back home until I left it.

some things that make me really excited for the transfers are that I won't be in a quad companionship anymore! Try planning for two companionship at the end of every day... It gets really hard. The other day Elder Olivos and I went to the wrong lesson and ended up running into Elder Huefner and Elder West teaching there. It just gets super confusing. The other thing is that I'll probably get your packages when we go in to get our new companion! The transfers got pushed back onto Wednesday, so I won't get them until then, but I'm super excited!

This week I've been studying a lot about my purpose as a missionary and it has really hit me in how big of an honor it is to be here called as a missionary! I've never felt the spirit so much in my life, and never before have I felt like I've been in a better position to recieve so many blessings. I look at so many other missionaries that don't seem to have realized what kind of potential they have as missionaries, just read the scriptures and it's very clear that as long as we're obedient there are countless blessings in store for us! As in 3 Nefi 24:10 it says "if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." When we are obedient we bind the Lord into giving us these blessings as it says in D&C 82:10 "I, the Lord, am abound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise". Every day I feel like I come to understand the power in that promise more and more! 

Another huge thing that has been on my mind this seek is that whenever I use my inabilities as excuses, I am denying the very power of God in my life. If I say that I'm incapable of learning Spanish and what not, I'm also showing my doubt in Gods power. It's hard to put our trust fully into what we cannot see, but we are asked to act in faith. "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." SO kind of tying it all back together into that last though I had about the blessings that we can recieve. In order to recieve those blessings we must act in faith with a perfect hope in God and his promise. For "hope cometh of faith". I must say that the mission gives the perfect situations to act in faith every day, and when I do, I most definitly recieve the blessings.  

Again thank you all for your love and support! I hope that you're all having a wonderful Christmas season! As for here, it's pretty hot and dry, so no snow this Christmas. But you guys don't have palm trees ;) so I guess it's fair ;)
Love you all!

Love Elder Twede

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 11: It just keeps getting better and better

What a week, a lot of little things happened each day that really made
it interesting. One morning the neighbors decided to blast music at
4:30 AM, so I lost two hours of sleep. One morning we didn't have any
water, and when we finally got it working our water heater wasn't
working, so we had to take really cold showers. Elder West and I were
walking down the side walk on a busy road and someone threw eggs at us
from their car going about 45 MPH! Elder West got hit on his shoe and
I got hit on the elbow. It stung a bit, but what was most annoying was
that now I have to wash my sweater. All in all I this week gave me a
bunch of great stories to tell :)

I have had some pretty powerful lessons this week. Elder Huefner and I
had a couple of chances to go out and teach together and we still
don't speak Spanish that well. But there truly is power in testifying,
even if it's a very simple testimony. We went and visited Cindy and
Christopher together (the two that were having marriage trouble) Elder
Huefner and I taught eternal marriage and the spirit was very strong.
There's a different power in lessons when you really care about the
people you're teaching. I want to learn how to have that same kind of
love for everyone I teach, because it really makes a difference.
They're doing a lot better now!

Today we went into Mexico City! It was crazy! Shopping around is a lot
of fun, but it's easy to start wanting a lot of stuff. Armodillo bags,
hand crafted chess sets, awesome looking sculpters, and a lot of other
random stuff. Elder West was going to town in buying souveniers
because he's going home in two weeks, I just had to tell myself to
wait and I'll be able to do that all at the end of my mission. That
way I won't have to lug it around for the next two years either. The
picture of the big catholic church is where an old temple used to
stand, but they tore it down and built the Catholic church. It was
pretty cool, but I think old temple ruins would have been a little
cooler. One of these days I'll get to go to Teotihuacan and see the
giant pyrimid temples there! I can't wait.

For thanksgiving we were on splits with our zone leader, who Elder
West trained about a year ago. We call our trainers our dad and we're
his kids, so it was like a whole family reunion with our brother
coming over to spend Thanksgiving day ;) We made mashed potatos,
chicken, and got roles. It was pretty good, but we all had stomech
aches the next day. I think the checken may have been the problem, but
we're all fine now.

Thank you for your support! I love you and pray for you daily. I love
the work here and it just keeps getting better and better the more
Spanish I learn.

Love Elder Twede