28 enero 2013
Hola familia! 1st off I just want to say, thank you Brooke for telling me you highlighted your hair and that this time Trang wanted to go for a more natural look! I was freaking out all week because nobody had told me what color your hair was... OK, yesterday was tranfer day and I found out I that I will be staying in Cananea for at least another 5 weeks. I have been assigned to serve with Elder Liddle. Another gringo from Florida who I have yet to meet. Elder Villegas just left to his new area in Hermosillo and I am writting my email at our branch presidents home. I sure learned tons from my trainer and am grateful for the time I had to serve with him here in Cananea!
What a fantastic week it was. I was able to share a lot of "lasts" with my companion as he said goodbye to lots of friends in Cananea. I have grown so close to some of these families and people here, and I have no doubt it will be tough to leave. I am thankful to the Lord for allowing me to stay a little bit longer. Something that Uncle Dave said to me in weeks past is that it is the strangest thing that missionaries have so much love for complete strangers. Yeah I know some people here fairly well and I love em, but those who I have never spoken to, those who I see selling pirated DVDs on street corners, those who drive past us on the road and pretend they dont see us. I LOVE THEM TOO! Words really connot describe the kinds of feelings I have for the people I serve. It is sure fun bein a missionary and making friends and life lasting relationships in Mexico.
We taught some pretty great lessons and felt the spirit tons throughout the week. No baptisms this week, in fact some sad news. Victoria got up and left to Sinaloa Mexico and we are not sure when she will be back. Shes not even sure when she will be back, we called her this week and told her that we are waiting for her with open arms and that the churchs doors are always open for her. please keep her in your prayers. Howeveer, dont be down in the dumps too long family because we have picked up some promising investagators who want the church in their life. And I want them in the church haha. Omar, a spunky 9 year old has crazy interest in God and persuaded his whole family to come to church this Sunday. Sacrament meeting I sang Conmigo Quedate Señor (abide with me tis eventide) and they loved it. They continued to love church and were asking great questions in Sunday School about Agency! I really have a good feeling about them. We taught a couple first lessons this week and we will also continue to invite them to church and teach them more!
Bompa Happy Birthday! I cant believe you are 53 years old now. time flies! I love you Bomps and thank you for always lovin me and supportin me with every aspect of my life. baseball, school, church and now my mission! I know that some crazy things are happening back home but I couldnt be happier and more motivated than on my mission. I love this Gospel, Jesus Christ and I love my calling as one of His representatives. I have learned so much in such little time. I look forward to the future and wish all my family the best. Have an incredible week! Never be ashamed, or nervous to open your mouth during glimpses of missionary opportunities! Always pray for strength and our Heavenly Father will always help you. Remember the Nails
P.S. Britto, you are one tough cookie. Im sorry to hear the news. You are such a trooper. You have a missionary in Cananea, a family in the East and West, and A God that loves you so much. Keep smiling sis, you are such a great example to me!
Monday, January 21, 2013
|studyin up the book of James as I warm up next to our heaters! haha I look mad, i wasnt!|
|This young chap is crazy! He kept on kickin my shin so i put him up on my shoulders where he started to pull my hair|
|After a meal with the family Figeroa Medina! Such an amazing family. the most humble people I know. they sacrifice quite a bit to feed their missionaries with the best food they have! their home is smaller half of our garage! |
I cant believe how fast time is flying by! I am one week short of my second cambio (transfer) in the field! this week turned out to be a whirlwind of fun? Writting this email I sit back in this cold foldable chair, breath in deep, and reflect on the craziness that happened this week. Like always.Through the up and downs here in Cananea I know that my God and my family are proud because I really am tryin my hardest out here. I am always trying to look at the bright side of things but often its a tough. Im not gonna lie, this week was a little bit difficult for Elder Villegas and I. Cananea has the strangest weather! We began the week wearing layers and layers of sweaters. In fact it was so cold that our water froze over night on Tuesday and we couldnt shower or use the sink until thursday night! our electricity also was gone haha but now its toltally hot outside and im wearing one of my shortsleeved shirts. the people here kid around and say that you can experience Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall all in the same week. Its true!
But yes, we sure walked a ton this week. Sometimes we can hit all the corners or our area. starting the day in Aguapequaria, then to La Roca, back down the hill to Gomesada, finishing the day en la colonia central, and returning home. Hardly anybody here have cell phones and it is difficult to set appointments, so when we show up knocking on their door, alot of the time they are not home, or have to leave very soon. We plan to visit the next day, but the same thing happens over and over again! This is why when we get into a house and teach a solid lesson we (like mexican jumping beans) rejoice.
Our investagators are doing well. Trying their best to read their books of mormon and really making some sacrifices to go to church and put away bad habits. It sure is a blessing in my life to see their lives improve. I tell them, "poco a poco puede cambiar su vida" meaning little by little you can make these changes in your life! With our Savior we can do all things, and it is a confirmation of my testimony that He is absolutely willing to help, only if we ask Him to. through good works and foward progress I can see their faith growing!
A great highlight of my week was that I was able to hear from a member of the seventy. Elder Cornish and his wife spoke to us friday! He stressed the importance of working with members and had a little motto that I loved! TENER PASIÓN POR SU MISIÓN! or have passion for your mission! He really opened my eyes to the incredible work that I am a part of as a missionary for the church. He told us that we are part of the greatest religious movement the world has ever known. All the missionaries left the meeting pumped and ready share the gospel! haha our zone needed a little motivation for sure. I definitely set some goals to improve as a missionary!
We had plans to baptise Arleth, an 8 year old belonging to an inactive family that we have reactivated, this Sunday. Do to some issues with broken water pipes we needed to postpone her batism. You should have seen me on top of the roof, with scotch tape and cardboard trying to fix these pipes Sunday during the second hour of church. I told them, "dont worry, i know what I am doing. My dad is a roofer!" hahaha Obviously you didnt teach me good enough dad, still no water in the font!!!
I have so much passino for this mission and the missionary work. I love this church with all my heart. What an awesome opportunity I have to share my testimony with these beutiful Cananeans. I want to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with the world, and Elder Farrow appened to start his jouney in Sonora Mexico. Trials, bring em on. With the help of my older brother Christ I have all the confidence in the world! I look forward to my next week as a missionary, who knows what my Father in Heaven has in store for me. and it might be my last week in this area, we shall see! Love you all.
Have a great week,
P.S. Brooke Shanequa Farrow! congrats on Hawaii! Im stoked for you! you are gnna have the time of your life. I cant believe you are going from paradise in san diego to paradise in Hawaii, you lucky trout. like it says in Blake chapter 4 verse 12 "the future is as bright as you want it to be." learn to surf yeah?
yeee hawww Im happy.
|waitin for fooood|
Hello Family! Pretty crazy week. Tuesday I was surprised with a phone call from the secretaries and they told me I was needed in Hermosillo to tend to some Visa changes. So I bussed South later that night. Spent the night at the Assistants house and spent most of Wednesday crammed tight in the immigration office! I was able to have a very rare English conversation with an elderly couple from Mesa. I was able to explain to them a little about temples and temple recommends. My English was not very good, haha thats a good sign right? I was searching for words in English and actually used some spanish to clarify some of my sentances. weird.
I shuttled back to Cananea Wednesday night and was ready to get back to work. Like always we had some good first lessons. One thing that my trainer has taught me that I really like, is from the 1st second you see or teach people, to visualize them in white. visualize them dressed and ready for baptism! I always try to look at people as what they can become rather then focusing on the problems they have now. We were able to teach a 20 year old person named Angel. He was super interested about our missions and we answered question after question about the missionary service. Instead of picturing him in white clothes, I pictured him in a suit and tie with a missionary name tag over his heart! hah he really liked the story of Jose Smith and when we checked up on him later in the week he had read 3rd Nephi 11 like we had asked him too! He didn't come to church but I have a good feeling about this one
I could really go on and on about similar experiences that I have weekly here in mexico. Elder Farrow also taught Manuel, Nancy, Omar, Alma, Terry, Daniel, Dan, Sofia, Leslie, Fransisco, Bryan, David, Monica, Gisel, Veronica, and Raul. Each with their own story and lesson. Another quickie, We taught David who is an older gentleman who lives in a very very small house and sleeps 2 inches from his gas heater on the floor. He is hillarious and loves to talk. We planned to teach him the plan of salvation in 30 minutes or so and ended up laughing our heads off for an hour and a half. He reffers to me as El Gringo Famoso de Gringolandia haha when we asked him which of the 3 kindoms of heaven he wanted to live he said, "probably number 2. Its a whole lot easier to get to the kingdom of the moon than the kindom of the stars dont you think??" haha and we left his home he said, "Thanks for listening to me, nobody has listened to me for months." just about melted my heart. He wanted us to come back the same day after our lunch!
Sunday was an interesting one. Elder Villegas and I were the 1st ones to arrive at church. We started Sacrament meeting at 10 oclock with 8 people in the chapel. 10 includnig us. President was out of town so we conducted the meeting. We also blessed the sacrament, passed the sacrament and both gave 20 minute talks. Thankfully we opened the doors again after the sacrament had been administered and a couple families walked in and tripled our attendance. But yes if you were wondering I did teach both Sunday School and Priesthood lessons! But I was way sad because there was hardly anybody there! what is happening to this branch. Hermana Parra told me Sunday that this happens every year in Winter because of the cold. The Cananeans need to sacrifice a little! We visit tons of member families weekly and share great, spirit inviting messages with them, read scriptures with them, do service for them! now they need to show a little faith building action and go to church! I just kinda laughed it off about how the missionaries ran Church this week!
I love being a missionary. There is nothing like it. At the end of the week there is always reason to shout for joy because of the success, rejections, lessons, experiences, and crazy things that happened during the week! This week the missionary force will be privileged to receive a deticated, hard working, talented, entergetic, positive Chelsea Snow. Richmond Virginia truly will be receiving an angel and answer to prayer this month, and I couldnt be more more excited for her!
Have an incredible week family. And parents, Jamaica?? you lucky cats, dont have too much fun without your kids! Enjoy the vacay and take lots of pics. Love you all.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
|freezing my face off as we hitch hike in the back of a truck to El Dorado!|
|snow!!!! down the street from our apartment|
Happy New Year family!
This week absolutely flew by. I swear I blinked, and Im back in the same papelaria I wrote my email at last week. Elder Villegas and I are trying our very hardest to get this town motivated about the gospel. We offer tons of service and try to visit as many people as we can during the week. This week Elder Villegas thanked me for helping him work hard. He said he started his mission really pumped and hard working then over about 1 years time he slacked off. Anyways, Cananea is living up to its reputation as the toughest most dry are (a wet area has baptisms).
Satan is always workin so hard, and targets those special spirits that are voulnerable to temptation, and so ready to enter the waters of baptism. Victoria was interviewed for her baptism on friday and passed with flying colors. The look on her face when she walked out of her interview with our zone leader was priceless! A grin from ear to ear. none the less, we passed by her home Saturday night, to share a couple scriptures and a quick message we had prepared and found her clearly drunk :( This time we saw a different look on her face. She was filled with feelings of regret and guilt. She expressed to us how she knows right from wrong, but her past is too dark to have a bright future. Through her tears she went on to say that she loves the teachings of the church but cant them. No puedo hacerlo. Over and over again we were flooded with these sad, negative comments. After about 30 minutes of conversing with Vicky and being shut down with our attempts to help, we almost said goodbye to our dear friend. She had given up.
I still have difficulty expressing myself in Spanish, and I wanted so badly to pour out the feelings of my heart in this moment. In my heart I said a prayer and then I took a leap of faith! I leaned forward in my seat, took a hold of both of her hands, and looked deep into the windows of her soul. I said in a powerful voice, "Vicky I love you, and God loves you. We all fall everyday. It isnt expected for us to be perfect. I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ KNOWS your pain, and he KNOWS your temptations. Vicky, it was NEVER easy for Christ, so why should we ever think that it would be easy for us? You will overcome these trials, you will live a happy life, and you will enter the waters of baptism!"
Oh man, I kinda leaned back in my seat and asked myself. what the heck just happened?! haha I was shaking. Her mind was working a million miles an hour. We just sat there and let her think. after about a long 30 seconds she opened her mouth and said, "I want to be baptized. I want to be a good mother for my sons." if this wasnt a mighty change of heart I dont know what is. I immediately turned to my Father in Heaven and thanked him for touching the heart of Victoria, because I knew that it wasnt Elder Farrow convinsing her to change her mind about her future. It was the Holy Ghost. I thanked Him for giving me the courage to open up my mouth and to communicate clearly the intentions of my heart. In this instant I learned to take leaps of faith and the Spirit will make you strong.
Elder Villegas followed up with a powerful testimony and shared a scripture in the Bible, Joshua 1:9! We will work work with Victoria and help her progress towards her new baptizimal date, but please keep her in your prayers! She attended one hour of church the next day.
Our efforts this week were really focused on our few progressing investagators and lots of inactive families. We were blessed to see 3 inactive families attend church yesterday, Hermano Figeroa Robles stood up and bore his testimony and shared how he wants to be a strong member in the branch. We are so needing some preisthood men in our small branch and this was absolutely music to our ears.
Cananea is still very cold! The beginning of this week Elder Villegas and I were able to have some fun in a blanket of snow. We had a snowball fight with Hermana De la Puerta! She is the 88 year old we visit weekly haha so much fun. She pelted me in the face with a handful of snow and I fought back with a round of 6 or 7 snowballs to her wheel chair! HAHAHA just kidding! Every single day you find a reason to laugh your head off on the mission. I am so blessed to be a missionary. Im ready for the future and willing to do whatever it takes to positively influence the people here in Mexico. Dad you told me to give them something to remember you by, and Im sure tryin. Every week is amazing and it really is such a privilege to be serving with Elder Villegas in Cananea. I love this church and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Have a great week family and friends. You are always in my prayers.
P.S. Alma 37:32-37 gave me great strength this week. peace! I love my cousin Elder Pliler! Keep up the good hard work my good chap.