Monday, April 29, 2013

Be Happy!

1. reunited with elder Villegas! also lookin fly next to my comp Elder Castro!
2. Da shoes!

29 de abril 2013

Hola familia! Espero que todo este bien! hah this week was pretty legit. The work is still very slow, however speeding up everyday. As you could imagine my mind has been going crazy these last 2 weeks. I have been pretty stressed to tell you the truth, I rely on the help of my savior, he gives me chill pills throughout the day and helps me relax! Elder Castro and I are getting along well, and once again I am praying for lots and lots of patience. It is said that every missionary has a different story behind the name tag, and I know that is very true, because Elder Castro and I had completely different lives before the mish. What I have loved about every single one of my companions is the fire we buckled together because of the excitement we have for the gospel. One missionary kidded in a joke this week of how both Elder Castro and Elder Farrow act like greenies because of their enthusiasm haha I love it. That's how I've been, that's how I am, and that's how ill stay.

We have journeyed to almost all of the parts of our new area, searching for members, contacting references and at the same time getting to know these streets. Although it is quite a challenge we are staying positive, looking forward with faith, and trusting in the Lords time. The members here are absolutely fantastic, its pretty crazy how receptive they are to us, party because they haven't had Elders in their ward for quite some time. But it is so easy to be yourself around them when they make you feel like family. We have had many family home evenings with ward families and have received lots of member references, now we just have to find them, teach them, baptise them and get them to the temple. That's the goal anyways, I wish it was that easy, but I know that it requires lots of work, patience, diligence, humility and love.

For the most part, the people of Hermosillo are more educated than those who I was accustomed to teaching in Cananea! I have been able to have more profound conversations and am learning lots more new Spanish vocabulary. I have had to change a bit of the way that I teach because of a different kind of audience. I have loved digging deeper into church doctrine because the people here ask very educated questions, so I need to be prepared with educated answers. So yeah, that's new I guess. Also new... this heat. I have sweat a whole bunch these last few days. but oh man its hot, and the best part is that every single person we talk to tells us that we are nowhere close to how hot it will be in a few short weeks. so pray for me.

This week we had a sweet experience. after talking to a man named Carlos on the street for a couple minutes, a friend of his named Gina walked over to us and joined in with the conversation. She was super interested how we left our families for 2 years to serve the Lord. Long story short we gave her a mixture of 2 lessons, the restoration and the plan of salvation. The coolest part is that the spirit was there right there on a street corner! We definitely had her attencion, she was listening to every word, when we asked her if she had any questions she said "no, just keep talking!" haha We talked a bit about trials and their purpose in this life, after explaining to her the importance of the personal atonement in our lives she began to cry. A very quiet, meditating cry. We changed our tone of voice, and tried to let Gina just listen to her thoughts and prompting. We didn't hesitate to ask her to be baptised. Through her watered eyes she accepted a baptismal date for the 26 of May. Although she was unable to to attend church this weekend, we have great faith in our new friend.

All is well my good lads. I am loving Hermosillo and I am not fighting the changes. Its pretty fun to be training, I have had to humble myself in order to be an effective teacher. I only pray that I might be a good example to Elder Castro! I love my Savior Jesus Christ, He has helped me more than anyone here on my mission. I have felt sad, alone, down, you name it, and he has always lifted my spirit and given me strength enough to rise up upon the wings of eagles. I have much work to go and even more improvement ahead of me, but I know with the help of Jesus Christ no thing is too difficult or impossible. Keep on smiling family. have a great week!!!! Love you all! (Even Bobbi and Brandon, maybe you have forgotten about Garret and I, but we haven't forgotten about you hahaha jk love you all!)

- Elder Blake Ammon Farrow

P.S. Elder D Todd Christofferson will be coming to visit the mission in May, and I have been selected by the Mission President to sing in front of him during the mission conference as well as a few other missionaries. stoked! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Super Hot!

last week in Cananea!
1. The view from the top of the mountain of the mine!
2. A biggest tractor I have ever seen. Posin up with Elder Liddle!
3. Luis, Dennia, and Bruno! my last night with them!
4. After church on Sunday with Patricia and her daughter!

22 de abril 2013

This week is filled with its ups and downs for sure! This week aws probably one of the slowest, most difficult weeks of my mission. The Lord has given me some new responsibilities and I have really had to step up my game. My patience is tested absolutely everyday, and I am able to learn from everything that is placed in my path. but yee, My companion Elder Castro flew in late Monday morning. He is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Rebublic. He is a pretty reserved missionary, with a crazy past. As much as I try to figure him out and become his friend, I get the feeling he wants to start his life over and forget about everything in his past. I will leave it at that. He is super pumped to be a missionary, and I am even more pumped to show him the ropes throughout his 1st couple weeks in the field!

Sadly, the Zone Leaders here didn't effectively do their job of looking for a house before our arrival, so Tuesday and Wednesday we spent the day looking for a new place to call our home. We are all nice and snuggled into our rooms, trying to ignore the cockroaches running around on the floors, and the broken air conditioning unit, but hey, at least we have cold showers! I love being a missionary.

We are very very slowly getting to know our new area. The ward here is fantastic, and it is incredible to see the difference between a lazy branch and a motivated ward. The roads are almost all paved, and its weird being back in a city, I'm still not used to seeing so many cars. For the most part my area is flat, but it is pretty dang big. We have been using public buses. That's pretty sweet. One experience I had in a bus already is that my companion and I were in the middle of a packed bus, standing in the middle of the two aisles of seats, when the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road to pic up even more people! I didn't think it could happen, but we were able to squeeze in almost 15 more people. Anyways, by sheer luck, I was sandwiched between 2 abnormally large obese Mexican women. hahahah were were all sweating together, and it seemed like with every single bump in the road it was an excuse for them to squeeze closer to me. By the end of the 20 minute bus ride, I was soaked in sweat and somehow I was able to shake one woman's hand as we got off the bus. I was only smiles for a good couple minutes haha

We are enjoying every bit of this challenge to open a new area. Its fun getting to know all the new people here, and I seriously cant wait to get into the swing of things here in a few short day. maybe weeks, idk. However long it takes I know that my God is watching over me and that he is attentive of his missionaries. I'm getting pumped just writing this email. Its like I just watched Rudy, or Braveheart of something really epic and I just want to go and fight Satan and iniquity! I seriously love the service I am a part of and I look forward to my future here in Cuauhtemoc with all the faith and hope that I have. I love you family. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. This week I will look and see if there is an address in the US that you can send letters to, to communicate a little faster! have a studly week!

Love, Elder Farrow

P.S. Farrows take care of Landon and Austin this week. Bailey and Brooke study hard! Brinley help Dad pick weeds.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Good Bye Cananea, Hello Hermosillo!

15 de abril 2013

Hello Family! Like I had predicted I in deed have been transferred from my home and family in Cananea. I write you this email from a much larger Internet cafe in Hermosillo Sonora. I have been chosen to serve in an area called Cuauhtémoc, towards the south side of the city. I will be training a brand new Elder, I will be District Leader and I will be opening a new area! I have already been blessed with so many different things so far on my mission, and now I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a leader here in Mexico. My new companion has yet to arrive, but he should be coming soon. He is flying in tonight from the Dominican Republic! Super Stoked!

A million things are absolutely running through my head write now, but I will try to give you a quick update on what has gone down these last few days. This week was a week of many emotional lasts. As much as I wanted to spend my time bouncing from house to house saying my goodbyes, I knew there was tons of work to be done in Cananea before I shipped off to my new area. We have very worked hard with our friend Patricia. I am happy to say she will be baptised this Saturday. After some minor changes in her personal life, and a few solid member visits, Patricia is really ready for this big step in her life. Her story is one that has stood out to me through my time here in Mexico. They have always told me that the field is white already to harvest, and I understand it better now that I have been an instrument in the Lords hand with Pattys conversion. She was so prepared. Although she had some bumps in the road, she now understands the importance of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily. Sure I'm a little bummed that I wont be able to see her be baptised this weekend, but I know there are many many opportunities that lie ahead of me in Hermosillo!

A big highlight of my week was that I was able to get a tour of the copper mine. A lady in the branch is helping a boss from the mine with his visa, and he generously invited us to a quick visit up the hill to do some sight seeing! after a call to our mission president, he gave us the a-o-k to visit. I was able to go to the top of the mountain at the highest point of cananea, to look over at the area that I had served in for nearly 6 months. Pretty sweet.

A little later in the week we got a phone call at 6 in the morning from Hermano Alday, who gave us the news that Gabriella Figeuroa was in the hospital and that her family wanted her to receive the holy ghost and be confirmed before entering into her surgery at 8. That is all he told us. To tell you the truth, we were thinking of the absolute worst possibilities, and that perhaps Gabi was facing the threat of death. We hurried, got dressed and sprinted up the hill to the hospital where we were greeted by the Figeuroas, also where we received more information about Gabi. How great was our joy when we found out that Gabi was only going to have her appendix removed! None the less, we gave little her a blessing, as well as the Gift of the Holy Ghost. There in a small, tattered, hospital bed she was confirmed a member of our church. Even with the distractions of doctors tending to patients, crying babies and wheeling hospital trays, there was a magnificent spirit we felt there with our hands on her little head. Once again the tears almost came for me as I knelt down to her level after the blessing, looked her in the eyes and told her she was now able to be accompanied by the holy spirit, I assured her she was never ever alone and that, perhaps now more than ever she would be able to feel her Saviors love throughout her surgery and the days to follow. Turning back to her and giving her a thumbs up as I left the hospital room was the last I ever saw of my little Mexican friend! I always told Gabi that she was the Mexican version of my little sister back in San Diego.

Its super moments like those when you want the spirit to last forever. I love the mission. I learned a myriad of random things in Cananea, including: patience, love for companions, good study habits, how to shower with freezing water, what not to do if a street dog comes barking  at you, the spiciness of the food here, and SO much more. Words cant describe how much I love the good people of Cananea, and I am so looking forward to the experiences that are in store, and the people I have yet to meet here in Cuauhtémoc! Love you all and have an awesome week. yolo

Love, Elder Farrow

Monday, April 8, 2013

3 Special Spirits!

8 de abril 2013

Hello family! this week was great! I love serving here in Cananea. Maybe 5 months is a long time to serve here in a small pueblo, but I'm still smiling through the trials and enjoying every minute. This week started off with some traveling. We had a zone meeting in Agua Prieta on Tuesday, we spent the night there and in the morning woke up early to help our zone leaders with some baptisimal interviews. Our mission president is very happy with the Sierra Madre Zone. Of the whole mission, our zone has baptised the most for 3 consecutive months! We returned home late wednesday afternoon and had a whole bunch of work to do before our baptisms on Saturday. It was fun preparing for this baptism, we got a big 225 peso cake, we made programs, prepared talks, and had to clean the baptismal font again! Not to mention, I was thinking of my little sister Brinley and her baptism all week.

Elder Liddle and I woke up early Saturday morning to go make sure the church building was open, projector running, and ready for general conference. Also, to fill the font for the 3 baptisms we were going to have for Gabriella, Fransisco and Guillermo. I was able to hear all of the conference sessions in Spanish! woohoo, I said a big prayer before each session asking God to help me understand the messages I was hearing, and sure enough I was uplifted by every speaker. Some talks that stood out to me were Elder Bednars to-the-point law of chastity talk, every one of our prophets messages, President Uchtdorfs talk in priesthood, and Elder Hollands talk on faith. Wow does that man know how to speak, its like he gets up to the pulpit and speaks directly to me and helps me improve! hah but yes, conference was super awesome, and one I will definitely remember forever.

In between Saturday sessions we had our baptisms, and I was privileged to baptise all three niños! All went well with the program and we were able to be uplifted by powerful, testimony strong talks from Elder Liddle and the Father of the 2 boys. Shortly after, as I entered the font I realized that the water was a tad... freezing hah. i thought to myself, "this way they will be able to remember their baptisms a little better!" First was little Gabi, second 9 year old Guillermo, and finally 11 year old Fransico. Poor Fransico had a little trouble keeping his feet under the water and we had to dunk him 5 times! Im sure he was thinking he was going to die of hypothermia before his baptism was over. Lo and behold these three special spirits were baptised and all who attended were able to feel of their innocence and faith as they bore their testimonies to conclude our service.

Another week has past in the blink of an eye. Its wild to think I have been out here for 7 months. I have loved every second of this mission and I have no plans to stop, only improve my missionary work and make some necessary life changes that my future wife and family need me to make. I am growing so much and thank my Heavenly Father every hour for the chance I have to serve as a missionary right now in my life. There is no greater service, there is no greater joy. How grateful we should be for the blessings that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings into our hearts and souls. I would remind all of us that if we are ever going to show gratitude properly to our Father in Heaven, that we should do it with all of our heart might mind and strength! I love you all, thank you for your support and your prayers, they are not going unanswered. Have an incredible week!

Elder Farrow

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easters!

1. Chillin with a cows head we found on the side of the street.
2. Vive México!
3. Winning. Need I say any more

April 1, 2013

What is up family! If there was a word to describe this week I would probably choose solid. Honestly, I started this week with tons of goals in mind. I wanted to step up my game to another level! I know that we, as missionaries, aren't supposed to focus on dats and numbers, but I put a number down for tons of goals. I set goals for how many push ups I would do in the mornings, to the number of people on the streets I would talk to, the number of old woman I would help across the street, the number of lizards I would see on the ground and the amount of tortillas I would eat. Just kidding not those last ones. However! We usually get somewhere around 20 to 25 lessons in a week, and I absolutely thrashed my old record with 34 lessons! hah A whole bunch of prayer has finally paid off. Some days were better than others, but it seemed like everywhere we went we had success. people were in their houses, willing, and able to invite us in and listen to our message.

Part of our success was because everybody was on their spring break and wanted to hear a little about Christ during this Easter time. Celebrations here are a whole lot different from home. On Friday, in the town central there was a parade of about 200 people dressed up as roman soldiers, apostles, followers of Christ, and there was even a Jesus! It was all very sad, people had painted on blood on their faces, and some people were going around crying. others plaid their roles as mocking Christ as he walked to Calvary (the town square). But yes, a whole lot different. You tend to not see those parades in Escondido. I love the way Latter Day Saints celebrate the life of Christ instead of his death!

We have another goal to baptise 4 people on Saturday! Patricia, Fransisco, Guillermo, and Gabi. All seems to be going to play, but we are still working with Patricia and her law of chastity issues. She is working with her boyfriend and hope they will be able to separate or get married by Saturday. They have been together for 2 years. She will be baptised one way or another because of her inspiring faith, but we hope she will be able to take a leap of faith and trust in the Lord so she can be baptised on Saturday. We have been prayin our little hearts out for her. Gabriella, Franny and Guillermo are three studs, considering their young ages they are very smart, and understand the importance of baptism. Just as my little sis Brinley is preparing for baptism this week they are too. I am so happy for you Brin, I wrote you a hand written letter today, and I hope you will be able to get it before you big day! You too are about to take a leap of faith, and know that Christs arms are wide open ready to catch you. I wish I could be there with you and all our family, but know that you will be in my heart and thoughts this week!

All is well here in Cananea. I am becoming a better missionary daily, and always look for ways to improve my missionary work daily. I have grown so close to the people here and I know it is going to be a tough goodbye. Cambios are in two weeks, obviously I dont know when or where I will be changed, but I have a feeling my time is winding down here in Cananea Sonora. I love my job, my calling, my family, my faith and my God. Have an incredible week, and enjoy general conference. Kia Kaha

Les Quiero Mucho,
Elder Farrow