Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 47: A great feeling

This week. Let's see. Where to start. Well we baptized that family that we have been teaching for about three months! They were the first people that I was able to see from the very start! It's a great feeling when you can see all the changes that the people make in their lives and in their families so that they can get baptized and follow the gospel. I've felt so blessed in these past three months! They have flown by and I can't believe that Elder Sanchez and I only have one more week together! But we're going to make the most of it!

We've really started to have a ton of success in these past few weeks! We have so many people to teach that are super prepared to hear the gospel! At the end of every day we get back to our house and crash into bed, but super happy because we have so much to do to keep us super busy! I've really started to love the work now, before I enjoyed it, but now I have a passion for going out and teaching people. It probably helps that I almost speak Spanish more easily than English... I actually don't have a lot of confidence when I write home, I just assume that the majority of my English and writing is horrible. 

I've learned a lot about the faith in these few weeks. It's so much more than just a belief in something that we can't see. Ether 12 holds so much in the teaching of the doctrine of faith. The one thing that has really caught my attention in the chapter is verse 14
14 Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Part of my responsibility and our responsibility as members is to have faith to help other come unto Christ. If I work without faith, not as many people will be brought to the truth. So much depends on our ability to act in faith to bring others unto Christ and have the sufficient faith that they'll be able to be converted. When we have that belief that it will be possible for someone, we act so that it will actually happen. Putting full confidence in the Lord, not doubting, we will see miracles. I can testify of that!

I love you all so much! Thank you for you letters! Time is really flying and before we know it we'll be sharing these stories in person!... That almost scares me.. ;) Gosh I love the mission!

Elder Twede

let's just say... I haven't had pizza in a while...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 46: It all turned out perfectly

Incredible week! We had so much work cut out for us, but it all turned out perfectly! We have been planning to go to the temple visitors center with the ward and bring some investigators. We first presented it to the ward as just a few people, but then it started to explode and they rented a bus with 40 spots! We ended up having 14 investigators and 19 members, most of them being recent converts. It was super powerful, but the best part of it all was Miguel!

To give a bit of background on the story. Earlier this week Elder Sanchez and I had decided to fast because we felt like there was someone that we could find that is prepared for the gospel. We decided that we would fast at the end of the week and also fast for our temple trip so that everything would go well. Saturday we started the fast and that night we received a text from a number we don't know asking what time church was at. We called the number and asked who it was. It was Miguel, a contact we made in the street at night right before we went home about two months ago. 

Right before church started he actually showed up! I didn't get to talk to him much before because I was playing the piano. But in the gospel principles class he shared why he was there and it suddenly hit me that he was the one that we were fasting for! I had almost forgotten that we had planned to find someone with our fast, I was to focused on the whole temple trip. We hadn't invited him to go to the temple with us, but right before church ended I asked him if he was doing anything after and he said that he was free. We invited him and he said that he nothing better to do and hopped onto the bus. 

It was amazing having so many investigators at the temple visitors center. When we arrived the front desk called in the whole force of sister missionaries to help out. They split us into groups and they all headed off. Elder Sanchez and I didn't get to join as we tended to one of our investigators that didn't want to enter, but that's a story for another time. 

The tour ended at the children's area and we stood outside with Miguel talking. The sister missionaries came out to talk with him, when they questioned how much time he had been learning from the missionaries I told him that just today. Their eyes got really wide and they looked at one another as if scheming something up and communicating it to each other without words (I'll never understand how girls can do that) then they said that they wanted to show him something special and walked off with him leaving us behind. 

Afterwards we were gathering everyone up to go see the Joseph Smith video and when we found the sisters they told us that Miguel has a baptism date for the 20th of July! I can't remember what I responded... I don't think I said anything... I was a little bit awestruck. But this morning we went out to eat with him and he's really excited! I now really have a strong testimony about fasting!

I'm super tired, but super happy! The mission is super fun, but super stressful but I'm loving every moment of it! I just want to say after these two years that I gave it my all! But man.. There's a lot of work to do between now and when I'll be able to say that. I love you all so much! Thank you for your letters! I look forward to reading them every week! 

Elder Twede

Getting off the bus at the visitors center

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week 45: What a privilege

Can I just say that I really love the mission! It's absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but the most rewarding! I always knew that the mission was important before I came, but I've learned so much here about what it is that I'm really doing! In Sunday I got to speak in church about *drum roll* Missionary work! I used the talk by President Uchtdorf titled "are you sleeping through the restoration?" I prepared a nice long talk and ran out of time in church to give it all... I actually only gave about a fourth of it. So I'll share a bit with you guys to make up for it :) 

There are so many things that I love about this talk! He starts out to talk about how today we are living in the restoration and that it didn't end with Joseph Smith. We will continue to prepare the world for the second coming of Christ. He said 
"This is one of the most remarkable periods of the world’s history! Ancient prophets yearned to see our day."
What a privilege we have to be living at this time. I believe that we were prepared in the life before to come to this earth in this specific time to fulfill a specific purpose. We must have anticipated for our moment to come here, but as we passed through the veil that purpose suddenly wasn't as clear and now we easily get distracted. I love the self reflecting question that President Uchtdorf asked
"When our time in mortality is complete, what experiences will we be able to share about our own contribution to this significant period of our lives and to the furthering of the Lord’s work? Will we be able to say that we rolled up our sleeves and labored with all our heart, might, mind, and strength? Or will we have to admit that our role was mostly that of an observer?"
I know what I want to be able to say. Especially when I'll be able to remember how I was prepared before I passed through the veil and if I fulfilled my purpose. I don't want to have to admit that I just sat on the sidelines watching. 

OH there's so much more that I want to write about this talk., but once again like in church... Time restrictions ;) I invite you to all read it again! I especially like the part when he talks about the first and great commandment. 

This next Sunday we're planning a trip to the temple visiting center and we hope to bring about 40 recent converts and investigators! I really hope that it all works out! Extra prayers would be appreciated for everything to run smoothly and for everyone to show up. 

I only have three more weeks of training Elder Sanchez... It's going to be a sad day when we have to part ways. I've really enjoyed these last nine weeks with him! I'm sure that I'll make a lot of lifelong friends out here. 

I love you all so much. And happy fathers day dad! All the family trips look like so much fun! I look forward to being able to go on those again with you guys! 

Elder Twede

The truth is... I don't know what's going on either... so don't ask. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 44: Loving my mission!

Hey I'm still alive no worries! I just didn't have a chance to write earlier today because we went on a trip as a zone on a hike to some waterfalls. It was super pretty and it was really nice to get away from the noisy city for a bit. I don't have much time to write today... But I'll try getting something written really quick. 

This week was great! We finally had over 100 contacts and we keep finding people that are super prepared to be baptized! At this point everyone we find can't have a baptism date until after the changes, so I don't know if I'll even be here. I would really love to stay in this area for another cycle because one more cycle here and we would probably have a ton of baptisms! But I know that that's not what's important that I'm the one that gets to baptize them, but I gotta admit, I sure would like to. It's interesting how all of my friends now are adults that have kids, but they all come to 19 and 20 year old kids for advice. Sometimes people ask us such personal questions that I start wondering if I'm really qualified to give advise in the subject. But then again I'm not really the one that's giving the advise, it's amazing how the spirit can bring thoughts to the mind right in the moment when it's needed. 

I know that a ton of things happened this week.. but I can't remember it all right now... I don't like being rushed when I write...

Today was a great P-day! We hiked up to some waterfalls and it was super pretty. I got a ton of great pictures! It reminded me a ton of when we went on our Oregon trip as a family and we took a ton of pictures on our hikes. My funny picture side even came back out and the whole hike I was scheming up goofy pictures that I could take. I had forgotten how beautiful the world can be.. I really miss trees! It was pretty funny because when we were on our way up the mountains in the bus, there started to be trees on one side of the road. All of the missionaries jumped to the one side of the bus and started taking pictures of the trees through the windows. Yep. It's a bit sad. But it just reminded me of how beautiful Utah is and how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place. 

Well I'm going to try uploaded some of the pictures now. I love you so much! and sorry that I don't really have a message in this letter, it's more just of a report... But everything is great and I'm really loving my mission! It's really flying by! 

I love you all so much! I look forward to reading your letters tonight!
Love Elder Twede

We've pretty much contacted all of the people in my area. We've resorted to this now. 

You know that you're in Mexico when the pizza has beans and chilies 

It starts

It was a really cool hike. We followed this canal all the way up to the falls!

AHH I miss green! It just doesn't exist in the city. 

Super companions

My feet got wet here...

Let's make this waterfall a bit bigger!

Rest break. Good thing this dog followed us.

Just plain beautiful

Father son photo

Week 43: I continue to learn every day!

The mission can really be a roller coaster, but hey I love roller coasters :) This week has been great! But there is always opposition in all things, so when things are at there best, there always tends to be the worst. I can't say that I have felt down in anyway this week, but it was a bit rough for my companion. We have been really excited about our baptism date this 7th of June, but his last Sunday he didn't make it to church, so we have to put it off another week. Not the end of the world, but I think it kind of started to stress my companion out. 

But this week really was great! We found 8 new investigators and a lot of them have a lot of potential! We had a lot of opportunities to teach the restoration this week and I really really love teaching that lesson to people that are prepared by the Lord. You can see the spirit working in them the whole lesson, and when we invite them to get baptized at the end of the lesson many of them eagerly accept. The hardest thing here is getting them to understand the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. But when they really have a testimony of the restoration, everything else seems to come easily.

Mexico can be pretty noisy sometimes. Sunday morning people started shooting off fireworks in the road in front of our house. They weren't just any fireworks either, they were those bright flash bombs that are super loud... They started at 5:00 in the morning and went until 7:00... It's always sad to lose precious time to sleep on the mission, especially an hour and a half. 

We've been getting a lot of rain this week, and Elder Sanchez and I both lost our umbrellas... So we've gotten a bit wet. But hey, wife point huh? ;) yep Bryce, there are wife points in Mexico too. Whenever we get wet in the rain we gain more. If we drop our scriptures... well it's bad.. haha I actually don't know a whole lot about the wife point dealio. But I'm pretty sure I'll have it fine afterwards. :)

Oh the mission is just wonderful. I love it so much! I've learned so much and I continue to learn every day! Another month has slipped by and.. I really have no clue how it passed by so quick. I almost feel like every week when I write I say a month has passed by! 

I love you all so much! Thank you all for your email! They're my favorite! 
Love Elder Twede

Went and got my haircut today with Elder Sanchez. We think we're funny when the haircuter walks out for a few seconds. 

We took a small trip to paradise today.