Monday, July 29, 2013

Cloud 9

July 29, 2013

hello family! this week was awesome. The truth is that when I arrived here 3 and a half months ago, opening up this area was a definite trial for me.  I consider my first couple weeks in Hermosillo the most difficult weeks that I have had here on the mission. I have been blessed to see the fruits of my labor in these last couple weeks. Yesterday in church just over 150 people were in attendance, and 12 of those 150 where our investigators! When we started here, the ward only had about 70 of so members attending on Sundays. Also among those 150 were several non-active families that Elder Castro and I have been working with!

 Perhaps only people who have served a mission can comprehend what I am about to say, but my companion and I have so much love for our investigators, non-actives, and ward family. As we young people set off to serve others in foreign lands and leave our families at home, we are gifted new families and even more people to love. It is a strange thing to think that I even have a place in my heart for the random strangers I see in the street. If you asked me what I liked most about missionary, I would tell you that it is opening up my mouth to complete strangers and testifying to them the importance of Jesus Christ, families, and the necessary steps we need to take to reach our highest goal of eternal life. You would not believe the kind of responses I get. Some look me straight in the eyes and tell me I'm wrong, others interrupt me before I can finish and tell me they are Catholic, others give me the time of day but don't want anything to do with us, and then there are those who listen well and want to hear just a little bit more. Those are the ones we want to find, those are the ones that will progress.

Sunday really was one of my favorite days of my mission! The week was pretty solid. However, we did have one terrible day haha Thursday was blazin hot and because of one thing or another all of our plans fell through. Either the people were not home, were busy, or asked us to come back another day. We had very little success Thursday, but we had a good laugh while returning back to our house. Its just like that sometimes and one can only hope and pray that the next day will be better! lo and behold Friday was alot better :)

There is a parallel correspondence between the heat here in Hermosillo and our level of productivity. As the temperature rises our faith grows and the ward begins to understand their importance in missionary work. With the augmenting heat, our investigators progress and prepare them selves for their baptisms. haha am I weird? Its all good. Thank you for you love, support, emails, and attempts to send me packages. My family is my rock and my motivation. You are all in my prayers, and I hope you all have an incredible week.

Les Quiero a Cada Uno de Ustedes!
Elder Farrow

P.S. The memory chip on my camera has a virus! it wont let me open up and see my photos when I connect it to the computer. I know they are not erased cuz I can see them on my camera! Ill try to get it fixed. This week I will use the other camera so I can send some pictures! haha flapple

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I almost died! Just Kidding!!!!

July 22, 2013

The weeks feel like hours here, i cant believe i am writing another email so fast. This week was great. Things are progressing well. We have had a lot of fun getting to know our new friend Angela, and we continue to help her organize her house haha she went to church on Sunday and loved it! We pray for our old investigators, they understand very well that they need to go to church, if they are really ready to be baptised they will go. However, we have stopped visiting them so frequently. I am here to baptise, we don't spend our time convincing, only inviting. I love teaching the gospel, I have fell into my groove as a teacher. Spanish is still improving and I am still flooded with new vocabulary every week. I was actually a little sick this week. I don't know, the food just didn't sit well with me. Upset stomach, throw up, lots of fun stuff. haha

I was able to do 3 baptismal interviews with an investigator family this week. they are investigators of Elder Rasmussen and Perez, my zone leaders. I always enjoy sitting down with the people that are about to be baptised, their faith is super strong. I tell them that they inspire me, but they don't believe me. ITS THE TRUTH! life goes on here in Mexico. Sometimes i miss the good ol USA, but I love the culture that I am now a part of. ON Thursday night we had a noche de hogar (family night) with Mercedes and her family. We were outside on her patio and we began to share a message about 3 Nephi 11, where Christ visits the Americas, when all of a sudden we see this wall of sand coming towards us. A wall as tall as a skyscraper and as wide as the pacific. It was just like in the movies, haha a little scary to think that some people where not able to make it to shelter. Luckily we booked it inside Mercedess home and watched the storm from a window. It lasted about 5 or so minutes. No real damage was done to anything, but everything was covered by a couple inches of sand! the most random weather here! Finished the night with some bomb quesadillas.

I love the mish and my family. I'm so lucky to have a supportive and loving family, you guys are my rock and my motivation. I'm 100 percent positive God loves us, and that Jesus Christ lives. I have felt His love so many times while I've been here in Sonora. thank you for your pictures and emails. I always print them out, and read them a couple times each hahah. Brooklyn, Happy Early Birthday my good lad, I will be celebratin here big time, trust me! All is well

Love Elder Farrow

P.S. Im really happy or my good buddy Conrad whos joinin the ranks as a missionary. Little James Weeks, I'm stoked about your mission call and cant wait to taklñ with you in Spanish. and to Nic, congrats on the missin call too!

Monday, July 15, 2013

¿Como podemos ayudarle?

1. Im still ripped if you all were wondering... con la familia Castro
2. At a atro turf field playin soccer this morning on P Day. Elders Evans, Valle, and Perez. Perez wants to marry Bailey haha
3. The Moores package! hitchin a ride back from playin futbol con Elder Chuc from Guatemala

July 15, 2013

Hello my good family! This week was great. To begin Id like to say that Elder Castro have turned this companionship around completely. We have gained trust, confidence and respect between one another. We have completely different souls. We are so different, but for the first time in our time together we have been unified starting in July. I'm stoked on life. Every week offers huge growth and a myriad experiences. Like I have said before, positivity is key. The moment you keep your head up and smile is the moment that your day is about to get just a little bit better.

Our investigators are incredible, we just wish we could see a little more progress. They are going to church, and they love our visits. I know they have felt the spirit, now its just a matter of teaching them scripture reading habits, and the necessity of conversion; personal prayer and revelation. In time we will be privileged to help them into the waters of baptism. This week we had a pretty outstanding little experience. Lets jump back in time to Wednesday afternoon after eating lunch with the Ayala Luna family. As we continued with our plans after the food, suddenly we got a call from Angela. We had met Angela briefly about 2 weeks ago. She is an older widow who dresses herself in huge, flowing, colorful dresses. She suffers a minor case of elephantitis. Her poor ankles are massive and from the look in her eyes, we are aware of her constant struggle and pain. Like I said, 2 weeks earlier we had met her and given her our number, and told her call us whenever you need help, but up until Wednesday afternoon we had heard nothing from her. We arrived at her house a little after 6. She greeted us at her front gate, and escorted us into her small home. As soon as we entered we were struck by an odorous wave that stunck like urine and wet clothes. She told us her dog had had little accidents all week.  A little apprehensive we both sat down on her couch in her living room. With enthusiasm we asked,"Como podemos ayudarle?" or  "How can we help?" and boy did she put to work. Every little task she asked us to do, she felt bad in doing so. But we completed everything she asked. Moped, moved furniture, moved bags of old clothes and helped her clean up the kitchen. In one point I had climbed up on top of her kitchen counter to clean old spider webs hanging from the ceiling. to conclude the story, after about an hour and a half of helping,  we sat down with her once again and taught a very memorable Plan of Salvation. The spirit was present and so was her attention. She listened, not because we had just cleaned her house for an hour, but because God had prepared her to hear our words in this Wednesday afternoon. Before leaving her house we had set a baptismal date for August 10th, and rearranged our plans to come back and visit her before the weeks end. That same night we called the Relief Society President and told her, "mira, we have planted the seed, now we need the sisters to help it grow." The next day Angela was visited by 2 of our favorite sisters in the word. We passed by again on Saturday and made plans for her to attend church the next day. and she went! :)

We pray for Angela, and her little dog too. I know the lord is literally preparing the missionary field, and it is ready to harvest. Life is like a box of chocolates, super delicious. One has to enjoy life in order to understand it. Hermosillo was blessed this week with some powerful rain showers, and I was blessed to be able to serve my brothers and sisters another 7 days here in Mexico. My testimony never ceases to grow. The mission brings peace, purpose, and so much joy. Time is flying by and I cant believe I have been out for 10 months now. I love the church, I love my Savior, and I love my family! Be brave, be bold and be humble.

Have a fantastic week,

Elder Farrow

P.S. Thank you Moore family for your package. I loved the drawings and thoughtful letters. It was awesome and sure put a big smile on my face. You are always in my prayers. Love you all so much

Monday, July 8, 2013

Da Bus! The Work Progresses

July 7, 2013

1. Eatin a prickly pear! crazy fruit haha super delicious :D
2. Last weeks baptism of Zuzzet! that her dad Miguel Bautista!
3. On top of la cerro de la campana! haha
4. when the goin gets tough... eat dinner with your investigators.
5. baptismal morning!
6. Not having any fun at all :))

This week was one of the best weeks I have had in a while. Every week I have reason to give thanks to my savior for assigning me to serve here. A quick story! so Elder Castro and I were in a public bus heading back to Las Lomas. We had already made plans for the afternoon and the bus trip would take about 20 minutes to arrive. 10 or so minutes into our trip I had a thought to get up out of my seat and get off the bus. Knowing that stopping in this area was probably a mistake I ignored the prompting. Seconds later I literally heard a voice, telling me, "get off the bus". No joke I turned around to see who had spoken, only to see a woman talking on her phone in the seat behind me. I also said to myself, there is nobody here that speaks English! "get off the bus. get off the bus. get off the bus" these words were running through my mind! I again said to myself "why are you fighting this prompting Elder Farrow? Just Act." So, I acted, I stood up, asked the bus driver to stop, and together Elder Castro and I got off the bus. I started to walk in the opposite direction to where we needed to go. I almost felt uncomfortable. People passing me on the left and on the right. We just kept on walking. By this time my companion is giving me this look like what the heck are we doing. As I was almost about to turn around and head for Las Lomas again, I heard a very similar voice tell me "keep going". I don't really know to explain it. I kinda felt awkward walking in a direction where I had no idea where to go or what to do. Then suddenly I saw a woman and her 5 year old son sitting against a wall in the shade, this woman was crying, and her sweet little boy was trying to give her comfort as he gave her a hug. Without hesitation we approached her. First we talked with the little boy. When his mother had lifted up her head, and somewhat wiped her tears we could see so much sadness in her eyes. After a little small talk, she began to cry again, but it was a humble and happy cry. She told us she had been baptised into the Mormon church about 3 years ago. but had been inactive for almost 2 years. She continued to tell us she said a personal prayer for the 1st time in these 2 years 10 minutes earlier. She prayed for help. After explaining to us some ugly things that had happened between her and her husband, we spoke of Christ and his healing power, His Gospel, and of course invited her to church on Sunday. MAN! Can you believe it. This served to be an incredible spiritually guiding experience for me. To finish the story we accompanied her back to her house, gave a more formal lesson, and gave her a priesthood blessing of peace, and comfort. She and her son, Diego, went to church on Sunday!

This week we also had the baptism of Zuzzet Bautista. We are super happy for her and her family. Her father was a non active member and after a little repentance process we reactivated him and he was able to baptise his daughter. We had the privilege to teach this family the basics of the gospel principles, and with her faith in Jesus Christ Zuzzet entered into the waters of baptism on Saturday. We are going to baptise again on Saturday, if all goes to plan. We will pray and fast :) Our investigators are progressing and we are enjoying the lessons we teach them. Even more baptisms will come!

The sun is still hot, the church is still true, and I am in love with missionary work. Some days are harder than others, but all days are worth the sacrifice. I continue to grow and thank my Father in Heaven for every experience, trial and blessing he puts in my life. I love my family and friends. Especially all the loved ones serving with me in the mission field! We are part of something so large, we should never take for granted this time we have to be missionaries. We are all so blessed!!!

Much Love,
Elder Farrow

P.S. Happy 4th of July!!!! just to think 1 year ago this week I was beating Jim Snow in horse shoes on the shore of Lake Powell. haha time flies.

Brother Snow's response:
Now that was a good letter! I loved how he gets promptings in English.
I think the sun is getting to him, that is not how I remember the horseshoe matches. He sure did get sick too!