Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy 21st Bday mom!

25 marzo 2013.

Momma and Brinley! happy birthdays! I hope you know I was shootin you birthday wishes all day on the 22nd and the 23rd! And Bailey, enjoy this spring break, i wish i could be celebrating with you in San Clemente, but the Lord has other plans for me! :)

This week was pretty sweet. Elder Liddle and I have been working very hard to help our investigators progress! We have bounced around with baptismal dates for a few of our investigators and hope they will put their confidence in the lord and accept our challenges! Its a super fun work that I am a part of. With my spanish finally pretty clear, obviously not flawless, I am able to chat with any Mexicano I want. Before the mission I pretty much didnt have a problem with talking with anyone, but here it is nowhere close to an issue. I talk to mexicans big and small, tall and round, short and stout, drunk and sober. You name it. Perhaps it is my favorite part of the work, opening my mouth and inviting people to come unto Christ. Ok, I think you get the picture.. Anyways, my time here in Cananea I have had to say goodbye to some of my favorite investigators. Starting with Victoria, then to Terry and Daniel, and many others. I don't want to lose any more. It is my fear that some"thing" will come up with the people we are teaching will fall away. Seems to be a regular trend. I put my faith in Gods plan and sometimes all I can do is pray.

In respect to Luis, Dennia and their son Bruno, they love our visits and enjoy the messages they share, however are still waiting on the big answer that they haven't received. We feel like Dennia is on board, but she isnt willing to be baptised without her hubby. They haven't been to church in 2 weeks. We are also teaching a woman named Claudia and her beautiful daughters! They are always down in the dumps about some family issues and we are stressing the importance of the church in families, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses those that live His teaching. also that the home is the best place we can put into practice the principles we learn at church. However, we also havent seen them at church in 3 weeks. We are teaching Patricia. She is gold. She has been loving everything we teach her, and accepts it as truth without any doubts. She has a baptismal date for the 6th! we have yet to teach her commandments like word of wisdom, and law of chastity, but we hope she will be progressing right along without any speedbumps on her way to baptism.In other news we have reactivated a super cool family these last couple weeks. The Gonsalez family, they are from Hermosillo and are finally coming back to the church after 10 years of not going. They have asked me to baptise their 2 sons, Fransisco and Guillermo, ages 9 and 11. April 6th will be an incredible day if all goes to plan.

Through the ups and downs here in Cananea, I keep my chin up. As Kelly Clarkson once said, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." and I'm not dead yet, so I'm getting stronger. I learn so much from every single experience here in Mexico. I love the mission and the incredible opportunities it gives me to grow and learn. I love my family and hope all is well in San Diego. Enjoy your spring break and don't do anything I wouldn't do. haha have a great week.

Elder Farrow

Monday, March 18, 2013

Papa Americano

18 March 2013

Hello my good family! I hope all is well in Escondido and that my sisters are staying away from boys. This week was pretty great. Tere isnt ever a really bad week here on the mission, because there are always crazy things that happen! We have found new people to teach and I look forward to telling you all about some progressing investigators. One middle aged woman named Patricia has already accepted the challenge to be baptised on the 6th and looks forward to our future visits. As for Luis and Dennia,   we still pray daily for their answers to come. They are so good to us, and we just want the best for them, although they are having trouble understanding a few concepts of what we have taught, I have all the confidence in the world for them! We still walk a ton, and strive daily to put as many visits into our plans as we can. I love work!

This week one of the grandpas in our little branch here past away and I was able to be a helping hand in his passing. Early Tuesday afternoon Elder Liddle and I were walking to our lunch appointment on a random dirt road that neither of us had ever traveled. To our surprise we saw Hermano Medina on the side of the road, in his car. He was parked outside the house of his sister. He looked terrible, he was sweating bullets, and he looked super tired. His sister who had joined him right outside the car, explained to us that he had fallen pretty bad, and we could see clearly that he was unable to safely drive his car back home. Before asking too many questions we ran to a members house to find help, because we needed to get Hermano Medina to his family and then to the hospital.

We continued our day like we had previously planned, but kept a special prayer in our hearts for this good brother. We knew he had a past record of heart attacks and other health issues. At the end of the day we trecked to the top side of town to visit Hermano Medina in the hospital. There President Suarez and I gave him a priesthood blessing. I first anointed the blessing, then, together President and I sealed the anointing with a very special, life-ending blessing. Most of what was declared in the blessing was in reference to the life he would live after his death. Sadly, we knew his time to leave this Earth was soon.

We were given word the following day at about 3 o'clock of his peaceful death. We were asked to help in his funeral service on Thursday. When a man who has liven in Cananea his whole life and when he is in his 80s passes away, word gets around fast. Once opening the gates in front of our church people began filling our small chapel. Over 200 people were in attendance, and it was the most full I had seen our little branch building. 5 minutes before the start of the service, the Barraza family asked me to sing the song I had sung in Sacrament meeting about a month ago. Conmigo quedate senor, or abide with me tis even tide. Gladly I accepted and sing it was all my strength. I looked frequently into the eyes of the wife of Hermano Medina, and it was something very special for me to see her smile through the entire song.

Maybe I should become a journalist or something, because I love writing. But, this was something very cool for me. maybe cooler than any of the special numbers I had ever performed. I don't know if I have told you, but the people here in Cananea have officially named me Faroito. The word "faro" in Spanish means lighthouse. they pronounce Farrow as "faro", and have given me the nickname Faroito, meaning little lighthouse. They call me the light of Cananea and it brings me so much joy to feel their love. In moments of sickness, and death, when we are absolutely in the lowest of lows, I am grateful to be a little lighthouse in a small town that needs a little light. Like I have said before, the people here have become my family away from home. It is such a blessing in my life to be able to help the people of Cananea. Even with the very little light that I think I have. 

Hermano Medina was a great man with great faith. In the funeral service his children and grandchildren expressed their testimonies of the plan of salvation that our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. I have a similar testimony, this faith I have is sufficient for me at this time in my life. As expressed to me by my Momma in a recent email, ¨"we are never alone, but that angels are surrounding us and miracles and tender mercies happen every day." This I know is true. I have literally felt the strength of angels here in Mexico. When I am in my lowest of lows, when I feel alone, or am having a hard time out here, my God gives me the power to keep on going and security to know that what I am doing is a righteous and helpful service.

Love you all! thank you for your support and your prayers. I have a strong testimony of this church and an even greater happiness as a member of it. I know families are eternal and that we can feel the love of our Savior and Father in Heaven through service and hard work. Through all of the craziness here in Cananea I am still smiling and keepin my chin up. Have a great week!

Much Love,

P.S. ¿cuáles son sus novelas favoritas para ver en la tele? He tenido un buen rato viendo algunos capitulos aqui y tenia curiosidad de lo que sus favoritos son. jeje

Monday, March 11, 2013

An Answer to a Prayer!

11 MARZO 2013

Well stop the drummers and bring out the chilli, this week was crazy! You would think I would be accustomed to small town Mexican culture after 4 months of eating, drinking, talking, working, sleeping like the Mexicans here, but no. I still get pretty bewildered weekly! Without getting too much into detail I have seen some pretty sad things throughout my time here. For me, I really have a new comprehension of Peter's words in 2 Timothy 3 verses 1-5. We truly live in dangerous, unethical, and wicked times. I have seen broken families, dishonesty, guile, hanky-panky and even some hocus-pocus. But dont let that get you down haha It is my testimony that the wicked can not win when the righteous go to work. So, here I am serving as a missionary! trying to counter all those fiery darts of the adversary. Its fun

To start we kinda had a rough start to the week. Both Elder Liddle and I ate something, honestly we don't know what it was, and we both got food poisoning. He had it way worse than me! We had some companionship bonding as we gave each other high fives, passing each other going in and out of the bathroom to regurgitate. My companion barely slept Tuesday night! after having a pretty slow Wednesday, we really picked up the work on Thursday after we were both feeling better! We finished the week super strong.

Friday night something really special happened! We passed by to visit Luis, Dennia and their son Bruno for a quick visit. We come to find out that Luis was out of town and Dennia was especially grateful for our visit as she was feeling a little lonely. We first chatted, then Dennia started hitting us with some great questions and before you knew it we were in teaching mode, whipping scriptures out left and right, and answering her questions. After bouncing around from, the Holy Ghost, temples, Brigham Young, and baptism, we felt inspired to ask her to sincerely pray with us. She had prayed before, and had told us she was praying, but we wanted to hear her ask God for herself if the things we had taught her were true. Using specific questions. So, together we knelt together by their fireplace. There in the glimmer of the burning flames, Dennia offered the most beautiful prayer I had ever heard. Her sincerity, and faith invited a spirit so strong. In this humble prayer she asked all of the questions of her heart, starting from Joseph Smith, ending with our little branch in Cananea, and everything in between. She would pause and listen frequently, letting the Holy Ghost testify to her the truthfulness of the doctrines that she had been introduced to these last few weeks. She continued to thank her Father in Heaven for her countless blessings and everything she had. Even after about 5 or 6 minutes of praying she didn't want to stop. None of us did. After saying amen, she couldn't help but smile. We discussed with her the feelings she had just felt, and made sure she knew that what she felt were fruits of the Holy Ghost. I loved the way she described the spirit she felt. "A balloon from within her chest began to expand until it reached the tips of her fingers". An answer to her prayers, was an answer to ours. We had been praying that she could have this "balloon sensation" for lack of better words. I want so badly for them to accept this gospel. I know that according to Gods timing for them, they will accept.

I love it! Sometimes there are some huge potholes, and speed bumps in the road, but lucky for us Elder Liddle and I, we don't have cars. I look forward with faith, and stay positive and smiling through the trials. I am so thankful for my family. I love you all! I am thankful for a cousin serving in Argentina, who is dealing with similar trials. Keep up the good work Elder Pliler! Well I am grateful for a lot of things, but there isn't much more time to write down all I want to say! ¿me entienden? jeje have a good week!
Elder Farrow

P.S. Thank you all for your handwritten letters! Mom, Britt, Kel, Jaime. sounds like you all had an incredible trip, were able to experience some of this incredible mexican culture, and see some of the tender mercies that God has in store for us! Also, Collette Knowlton! thank you for your sweet letter, it means alot to hear from friends back home. Im super stoked for you and the future adventures that are ahead of you in Colorado!

Monday, March 4, 2013

6 months in!

March 4, 2013

1. Me with eight year old Jasmin Alondra
2. La Familia Custodio
3. if youre wondering if im still cute

5 marzo 2013

Lately I have been trying to develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that  has happened to  me, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than my current situation. As missionaries, people may hear our words, but they feel our attitude. I have never understood the quote, "attitude is everything" so clearly then my time here while serving in Mexico. I look forward with my faith, and put my trust in the Lord. This week was a pretty typical, habitual, bona fide week for me. wake up, study, leave the house, work, teach, sweat, work, eat, testify, give service, eat, work, return to mour house and sleep. LIke always we visited lots of inactive members, and are trying our best to motivate our progressing investigators to read their scriptures, pray and especially go to church. We look forward to little glimpses of success here in Cananea. The work is hard won, but we keep on pressing on. Of course we still get rejected every single day, that hasn't stopped since my 1st day here. But daily there is reason to give thanks. My Father in Heaven knows of my labors and I strive daily to please Him with my service here in Cananea.

Oh yeah, there were transfers and I will be staying here for at least another 6 weeks. We are still working with Luis and his family. They love our visits and are always very sincere with us. They are working diligently to find their testimonies of the truthfulness of this church. They read everything we leave with with them, they tell us they are praying, and have been attending church! what more can you ask for. They have told us its just a matter of time before they receive their answer! ahhh I hope these answers come soon.

The absolute highlight of my week was on Saturday. I was able to baptise Jasmin Alondra Sainz Armenta. She is an eight year old angel, who asked me to baptise her about 3 weeks ago. Elder Liddle and I prepped for the baptism all morning. The font was full, the chairs were lined up, and I was all handsomed up in my white clothes. Also dressed in white was Martin Custodio and his daughter Arleth. The baptismal service was simple yet beautiful in its own way. I was first to baptise. After dunking her under the water and whipped her back out only to see her precious smile gleaming from ear to ear!

After the final remarks from the Branch Pres, we made our way outside to give our hugs and congrats to the 2 newly baptised members of our church. Before I go on, the Custodio family is a family that I was able to help back to the church. I had spent some of my best nights with them  here in Cananea. I have grown very close to each member in their family and it was amazing to see the hermano baptise his daughter. Anyways, we are outside in the courtyard and I go to give Arleth Custodio  a hug. She threw her arms around my waist and held on tight and wouldn't let go.  She looked up at me with her big brown eyes, and the sweetest smile you could ever imagine, her face I will never forget. I asked her, "How do you feel?" she answered saying, "I don't know why, but I want to cry" I told her, "then cry". Tears began running down her face, then down mine. She was absolutely filled with the light of Christ! Words cannot describe my emotions at that moment. In my arms I held a person so pure, so innocent. a person filled with so much happiness. I was so edified by this young girl and her faith. by this time people had noticed Elder Farrow was crying, so I machoed up and wiped my eyes. It is moments like those when you want the spirit to last forever. Truly and amazing day and an amazing opportunity I had to baptise Jasmin.

I look forward to more experiences like this on my mission. I know I will be able to have similar experiences if I work hard, and continue to develop my attitude of gratitude. Doy gracias a todo el apoyo que he recibido estos ultimos 6 meses en mi mision. Amo a mi familia con todo mi corazon. Creeme cuando les digo que estoy trabajando duro y que todos ustedes están en mis oraciones diarias. Me encanta mi trabajo y estoy aprendiendo mucho. y no sólo el idioma! jeje I hope you have a great week!

-Elder Farrow