Monday, July 22, 2013

Well this is it; the mission has finally come to an end. I feel just the same as I did when I was leaving. I knew that I had to go however at the same time I didn’t want to. The feelings are the same, I don’t want to go but I know it’s time. This chapter of my life has come to an end and I wouldn’t be able to keep progressing if I stayed here. A new chapter is about to start with new obstacles and trial ahead. But I have an advantage, I have learned so much here in the mission. So many things that I will be able to apply in the "real world". I’m excited but nervous. I also know that with the lord’s help anything is possible. He is a god of miracles, that’s what I have learned these last couple weeks working with Rosa our convert who was baptized this past Saturday.
    I just wanted to share this miracle with you all before my time here has run out. Elder Wagner and I met Rosa our first week here in San Bartolo area Atoyac. She is the sister of a member here and while visiting the member we just "happened" to bump into each other. The second lesson we had with Rosa we were lead by the spirit and placed a baptism date with her. After the lesson when we were alone with her brother who’s a member and after asking him what he thought he told us, "she won’t get baptized; she’s been listening to the missionary's for a very long time. She’s stubborn." When we got home that night I decided that I would not doubt and if I didn’t doubt that she would be baptized. As the days went by we discovered that Rosa had a lot of questions, luckily with the help of her family we were able to answer each and every one f them. We felt inspired to teach her about fasting for an answer so we did. Rosa had enough faith that she fasted, as well as read in the book of Mormon, and prayed nightly. I’m not going to lie there were a couple lessons that when we left I started to doubt. However, the lord answered our prayers and we were able to teach her according to her needs. He answered our prayers. The day of her interview came and she passed. When she did her brother came up to us and said, "no munches¡ ¿mi hermana se va a bautizar?" meaning no way, is my sister really going to get baptized? We said yea and he then asked, "How did you do it?" to be honest we didn’t do anything; all we did was help her recognize the spirit answering her questions and doubts. Even after the baptism Saturday we had people asking how we did it. They said we baptized a rock because she was so hard. Once again we just laughed saying "we didn’t do anything, it was the spirit". 
    Rosa has been one of the funniest people to teach. I have really learned the importance to follow the spirit in lessons to answer their questions that investigators have. God hears and answers each and every one of our prayers. Some times we have to wait for an answer or we might even have to ask again but he will answer when he knows were ready. 

   I love the mission and I'm sad that’s its over. I’m also excited to start another chapter in my life and to learn even more. One last time I just want to bear my testimony. I know that the church is true. I know that if we read study and pray over the scriptures that we will find hidden treasures and knowledge. What a blessing it is to have all these tools to help us grow closer to Christ. I love the people here and I will miss them dearly. This is the true church I know it. 

  I’m excited to see you all. I hope that I grew a little taller here and not shorter ha-ha. I look forward to seeing you all very shortly.
Love Elder Hope!   

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Wow, to be honest I dont even know where to start.... I figure that this might be my last e-mail so I'll try to make it a good one. First off I'm glad that your all excited that I'm coming home because I still diont think that it has hit me yet.... There have been a couple times where all of the sudden I think to myself and say, "wow.... Im going home" It usually comes with a sick feeling in my stomach. I really don't know what to expect when I get home, I can barely remember what life was like when I was back home  it mainly seems like a dream. I guess you could say Im getting nervous. The best way to describe it is the "bitter sweet feeling" the same feeling I had when I left. Just keep me busy when I get home because I'm pretty sure its not going to hit me untill I get home that the mission has Finaly came to an end so dont mow the law this week so that when I get home I can work a little. OK enough about that.
    This has been another pretty good day/week. I have really enjoyed my time here in this area (Atoyac). The members here have been really supportive and I feel like I was able to help the area out quite a bit. When me and my comp got here there was nothing, however with a little help from the lord we now have 5 people with baptism dates and a couple more that will have one soon. To be completely honest I was a little bitter that they put me in a new area with only 4 weeks left in the mission. HOWEVER I have learned things in this area and with my comp Elder Wagner that I know I never would have learned in my old area. I have a firm testimony that the lord knows each and everyone of us better than we know ourselves and he knows whats best for us even when we dont understand and ask "why?". All we have to do is make best of the situation were in and believe. I know that when we do he will protect us and help us learn and grow to what he knows we can become.
   The other day I had a pretty good experience. The other night I received a phone call from a member here in our ward thats received his mission call. His name is Carlos and he has become a pretty good friend. He always ask me about the mission and things he will need and what to do. Sadly his father walked out on him and his family years ago. Anyways He said " Elder Hope, I have a favor to ask you". (people have asked some pretty weird favors here so I was pretty nervous to ask what). After asking what it was he said, "tonight I will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood and I want you to ordain me".  I've never ordained anyone to the office of an Elder so to be honest I was kind of nervous but I said yes. I would love to say I did it perfectly and that everything went to plan but then I would be lying. I had to do it twice but it was a great learning experience. I really did feel honored that out of all the people he would ask me. Later that night he sent me a message thanking me and said that "the words of the blessing were exactly what he needed to hear". I love the spirit, it truly will put "the words in your mouth" if you let him.
    This morning president let me and one of my friends Elder Graves go to the centro to buy some souvenirs so dont worry I was able to buy a couple cool little things. It was pretty fun and while there we had a funny experience. Some random guy came running up to us saying, "are you guys american? Do you speak English?" Haha we then answered and said yes we do. Our name tags must have grabbed his attention because he look at them and then said with relief in his voice,"Awhh good! your mormones!". He then explained to us he was lost trying to look for a hotel where he left his wife. He said that he had been lost for about three hours and not being able to speak spanish could find the help he needed to get back to his wife. (He's about 30 years old from Texas). I believed him because he was sweating pretty good and seemed quite worried. We didnt know where his hotel was but we decided to buy him a water and to give him 30 pesos so that he could take a taxi right to the hotel. We asked him why he was here and he told us he's an archaeologist set out to prove that Jesus came to the Americas after his Resurrection. Elder Graves and I looked at each other with a puzzled face. Long story short we were able to talk to him a little about the book of mormon and explained its history before we departed. One day I think he'll be baptized.
    Well this is a really long message so I had better go. Im not sure If I will be able to write next week but I think I will. I just dont want to except the fact that this might be my last email.
I love you all so very much and Im deeply grateful for all of the support and prayers you have given me. This really is the true church I know it.
Until next time, Love Elder Hope 

Monday, July 8, 2013

   Well, what can I say once again another week has gone bye and like always it went fast! I’m glad to hear that all is going well back at home. It sounds like you all had a good Fourth of July. I’m glad you’re getting the T/A up and going so that when I get home it’ll be warmed up for me! ha-ha our 4th included us listening to the Mormon Tabernacle choir singing American songs and that’s about it. Guess I have to wait another year to blow some fireworks up :(
   This was a pretty good week; we had a couple funny experiences. One of which has to do with my comp. The other day we were eating some tacos in the street and I noticed that my comp was eating quite a bit of salsa, salsa Verde. It isn’t too hot or spicy but I was impressed. There just so happened to be another salsa there called habanero. It’s one of the hottest chilies here in Mexico. (I feel bad for what I did and I have repented just so you all know) So I decided to invite him to try it. I gave him a little piece and he started to eat it. The more you chew habanero the hotter it gets and man my comp was chewing away! Long story short to try to doze the fire in his mouth he downed his and my coke. Shortly after he threw up. It was pretty funny, I felt really bad afterwards but he was a champ about it.  
   The work here in the area is going well. This last week we were able to find some pretty cool families. One of which even accepted a fecha (baptism date). Two of our investigators were able to come to church with us this week which was awesome considering the fact that our church building is about 40 mins away in bus. It doesn't cost too much but it can get expensive when a family of 5 wants to go but doesn’t have enough money to go and come back. One of the people were teaching is named Manuel. Manuel is about 40 and has cancer. Due to his sickness he’s unable to work so his wife makes and sells tortillas to support their family. Their 15 year old daughter also works so the whole family can eat. It’s a rough. Once again were blessed. 
   We were able to have quite a few good lessons here this week and I would love to tell you all about them but there never is enough time.    I guess you’ll just have to wait a couple weeks. 
   I’m really enjoying the little time I have left, my comp is a pretty cool Elder and the members here area really supportive which helps a lot. I had better get going but I want to let you all know how much I love each and every one of you. Have a great week and I’ll talk to you next week, 
Love Elder Hope!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Companion Elder Wagner

    What up family? From the looks and sounds of it everyone had a pretty good time camping this weekend. Thanks for sending the pics they were fun to see.
   Well this has been a pretty crazy week for me. Like I said last week they changed me ha-ha. Right now I’m in an area called Atoyac; it’s here in the city NEAR to one of my older areas but not in it. My new comp is Elder Wagner, he’s super Verde (green) but he’s a good kid. He’s from Utah but about a year ago he moved to Texas and lives in a place Laredo towards the bottom of Texas. It’s been fun to get to know him a little better and I’m shocked from all of the news he’s told me about what has changed back at home. His dad is actually Mexican... kind of, he grew up in the colonies in Chiwouwa soo that’s interesting. 
   The first couple days here in our area were interesting, we didn’t know anything about our area so we've been working a lot to get to know the members and find the few investigators that the other elders were teaching. It wasn’t too hard, there’s only like 2... So it looks like well be planting a lot of seed which is also pretty cool and exciting. The area is pretty big. We have about 3 or 4 colonies in our area which are basically little pueblos. It takes us 30 mins by bus to get to our area which makes it hard for our investigators to get there especially when they don’t have money for the bus ride. 
   There have been a couple members here that have really helped us out in the way of showing us where the other members live and how to get to places so were grateful for that. OH also the airport is in my area so I’m pretty sure they put me here so in a couple weeks I can drive myself to the air port ha-ha but it’s all right. I think seeing the air planes make’s my comp more Trunkey than me.  
   We were able to find a couple cool people this week so that’s good. I would tell you guys about them buuutt I have to send some things to the offices so It will have to wait until next week. 
I love you all so very much and like I have said these past two years, I pray for you daily.
Until next week,
Con Amor Elder Hope

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hey family this is going to be really short..

Remember how I told you all that we were going to have changes? Do you also remember how I said that I was probably going to stay? Well like I said changes are pretty unpredictable! Turns out I’m leaving. I’m being changes to an area called Atoyac in the city of Oaxaca. It will nice to get back to the city of Oaxaca, after all I haven't been there for about 10 or 11 months. 

When Elder Johnson came here he also told president to make all the zone leaders that are going home trainers. Well I fall under that category so I’m now going to be training a gringo. It’ll be interesting to get to know all the new members and a new area in 4 weeks but I’m going to do the best that I can. It’ll be fun. 

Well I had better go I still have to help all the other elders get to the bus station and all that. I’ll try to let you know what else goes down if I get the chance too but if not I’ll talk to you all next week.

Love Elder Hope 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

   Wow your right ha-ha this was a pretty crazy week as far as trying to get everything done with school and what not. Thanks for looking for the info I’m not sure If I’ll get on and look for classes or just wait until I get home.... I felt really relaxed after I talked to mom and I kind of like not having to worry about it.... I think I’ll keep a focused a little bit better if I just wait but who knows I might look at a couple classes or two. Mom it was good hearing your voz (voice). 
    Also dad Happy Fathers day! Hope it was a great day.
    Well this week has gone by super doper fast; I can’t believe that I only have a couple more weeks here in the mission. To be honest it still hasn’t hit me but I think that’s a good thing. I’m just going to keep working hard and enjoy every minute of it. Also this Sunday we have changes. I’ll be really surprised if I get changed I’m pretty sure I won’t but changes are unpredictable and just about anything can happen. I have a weird feeling my comp will be leaving even though he just got here but we’ll see what happens.      
    This week was pretty awesome with Elder Johnson. His wife is actually from Sugar Salem and when I told her I was from Rexburg she freaked out and I thought she was going to hug me ha-ha it was kind of funny. Anyways the meetings went really well and it was great being able to hear Elder Johnson. He’s a good guy and speaks amazing Spanish. He really motivated me to keep speaking Spanish even after the mission; it really is a blessing to learn another language. I’m planning on taking some Spanish classes when I get home that way I won’t forget what I have learned. My comp and I were pretty busy setting everything up for President and Elder Johnson Thursday morning. Seats, water, mics, you name it and we had it. President called us a couple of times making sure we had everything ready ha-ha we could Tell he himself was a little nervous. I left both meetings we had with Elder Johnson edified and were trying to make sure all the Elders are applying what they learned. 
    Quick update, I’m not sure if you remember Virginia our investigator or not but as of now she has a baptism date set for this Saturday. She always prayers for you guys so keep her in your prayers so that everything goes well and that this Saturday she will be able to enter into the waters of baptism. 
    Well I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing good back at home and I hope that you all have a good week. Study the Scriptures every day and I promise all you will feel better throughout the day. I love you all so much and I’ll talk to you soon.
 Con Amor, 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

   Wow like always this week has gone bye really fast, I feel like the days are going bye faster and faster each day. This was another pretty good week as far as the work goes. Where finding a lot of new people to teach which is good and we also have a couple people lined up for baptism which is great. If all goes well we should have a couple baptisms!
    We had interviews here in our zone this last Saturday everything went great and I had a good time talking to President. While President interviewed the Elders, I helped the assistants train all the other Elders to learn how to be future leaders. They actually told me right before that I was to help so that was a surprise to me but in the end everything went well. I didn’t sleep to well these last couple night because the assistants stayed with us and I gave up my bed so they could sleep in it. I ended up sleeping in my hammock. It was two long and hot nights but Ill survive. 
   Funny story, the other day we were teaching a family under their tree when all of the sudden a squirrel fell out of nowhere and almost hit one of the member’s right in the head. It came out of nowhere! It also fell pretty far but it got back up and ran away. It was pretty funny. 
   I also decided to take a couple pills the other day that kill all the parasites that I might be caring around such as worms and all that fun stuff. I plan on doing it again in a couple weeks; I don't want to bring anything like that home with me. 
   This week will be pretty cool like I said last week Elder Johnson will be here and I’ll get to have two meetings with him so it should be pretty interesting! I’ll let you know how it goes.
   I started to read my first journal that I have from the mission. I must admit it’s been pretty fun looking back and remember all the fun little experiences. I’m also surprised at how much I have changed. I must of been pretty home sick at first because I always wrote, "I miss my family and I love them so much" ha-ha it’s still true but I’m over the whole home sickness. I’m just glad I have been faith full in writing in my journal because I’m really enjoying reading what I have accomplished here in the mission. Speaking of which, they sent my travel planes so I’ll forward that to you all. 
   I’m pretty nervous about the whole coming home, working, and going to school.... I’d rather stay here. 
 Any suggestions on classes to take? Teachers? How I should do my schedule? Josh, JC let me know what you think would be best. 
I had better go I have to write president. Tell Jim to hold on and to be safe. I’m praying for him and each and every one of you.
I love you all so very much have a great week!
Love Elder Hope