Monday, October 28, 2013

In the eyes of a blind man!

Oct. 28, 2013

Hello my good family! I hope everything and everyone is doing just fine. I have gained an incredible respect and an even greater love for my family in these last 14 months as a missionary. I have been so blessed in my 20 years, and I consider being raised in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ one of my biggest blessings. I have seen the fruits of sin, disobedience, and arrogance in so many families here in Mexico. It breaks my heart to see it, pero a la vez my enthusiasm and endurance grows just thinking about the good I am able to do as a missionary!

This week was great! We are doing our very best to figure out which of our investigators are going to progress, so we will be able to get at least a few of them into the baptismal font soon! My good man Peter is awesome. He was the only one to make it to church with us this week. Final de cuenta, this guy has been to some pretty low places in his life and has this incredible desire to change and get his life together again. He tells us he wants to be like us and he tells us we will have beautiful wives someday because of the work we are doing! I hope hes right ;) We talked to him alot about pushing aside the voice of the adversary and doing other things to take your mind off the temptation like singing a hymn. When we asked him what he was going to do to not fall into temptation, he told us he was going to play domino's. hahah so he might be doing a lot of domino playing in these weeks to come!!! Ill keep you poster about our friend Peter

One of my favorite things about being a missionary, is the amazing spirit you able to feel throughout each week. I would like to share a quick experience about when I felt the spirit this week. It may not sound super profound of intense, but it was for me when it happened. This Sunday, in between 2nd and 3rd hour the men were hangin around and chattin like they always do getting ready for priesthood to start and in this 10 minute block I started to talk with Hermano Carreon. He is the 65 year old blind man that has gone a little inactive in months passed. But, we were able to see him this week dressed in the white shirt and tie we gave him on Tuesday! Anyways, I love this guy. I asked him about when he first became blind about 12 years ago. After talking a bit I asked him how hard it was for him at first. After a little pause I could see tears falling from both of his eyes and he smiled. He told me it was the saddest, lowest he had been in his entire life, but he never knew that Christ really lived until he lost his vision. He bore his testimony to me with such a delicate power. I don't really know how to explain it. I looked into the eyes of a blind man and saw the most brilliant beautiful light I have ever seen.

I know this church is true! I know without a doubt in my mind that Christ lives and loves, I am filled with joy every single day, knowing that I wear His name over my heart! Thank you for your love and support, emails and packages. I know I am loved. Have an incredible week :)

Keep Your Chin Up,

Elder Farrow

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ya esta mejorando!

Oct 21,2013

Joyner and I on top of the Cerro de la Campana!

The houses here are just a tad bigger than what I'm used to ;)
Like the ancient Hawaiian warrior once said, "Hey brah, looks like tings is lookin up for me!". This week was definitely a week of much progress and things are really lookin up. I have finally gotten to know the streets and colonias of my area and I was able to meet the ward this Sunday. As of right now, church attendance is the lowest it has been in 3 years and we will definitely see some growth here shortly. We have definitely been praying hard this last 3 weeks to find some more people to teach and our prayers have been answered! I love looking to my Book of Mormon heroes, they set the example like nobody else could. Late in Alma 26 we read about these studly missionaries when they say, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord be comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." Elder Joyner and I have been patient these last 3 weeks, we have been comforted and were able to see some success!

One of our successes was putting baptismal dates for Alba and Peter. Alba is a woman we found from an old ward list of less active members. Her son was baptised 15 years ago but left the church shortly after his baptism because there was not much family support. 15 years later we see a woman who has spiritually prepared to receive the gospel. She is hilarious and compliments us about our Spanish every 5 minutes haha she also has had some pretty sweet dreams about angel visitations and basically flipped out when we told her that the Angel Moroni visited Jose Smith in his room to tell him where the gold plates were. So she is pretty pumped about life right now. We still don't know her  very well, but I really have a good feeling about her :)

Next is Peter. He was a street contact we met about 2 weeks ago, and we finally visited him on Wednesday. We should have contacted him sooner because he is pure gold. He is a 27 year old kid who wants to turn his life around. For lack of better words Peter grew up building his "house upon the sand" and is ready for the rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He lived some time in California and reminds me a lot of some of my Mexican buddies from high school haha hes a cholo. He asks awesome questions and wants us to visit him everyday! haha He was maybe one of the easiest people to but a baptismal date with, because he asked us if he could be baptised like Jesus was! He wanted to put the date sooner, but we had to respect the Mexican mission rules that require a minimum of 5 times at the church before baptism. I was able to sit next to him at Sacrament meeting on Sunday. He loved every single hymn, prayer, talk, everything, you name it. Oh and if there was something he agreed with in the 2 talks we heard, he leaned over to me and gave me a fist bump! haha this happened about 8 times throughout church. So hes pretty pumped on life right now too!

I love serving! Amen. End of story. Life is fun, tough and worth it. I am enjoying myself and my time so much as a missionary. Each day brings a new adventure and lots of learning. Time is flying too fast!!! Also, this weekend, 3 of my old investigators in my old ward were baptised!!!! Gonzala, Deyvi and Idennia, but I was unable to go to their baptismal service. Please keep Alba and Peter in your prayers this week!

Much Love,
Elder Farrow

1. Joyner and I ontop of the Cerro de la Campana!

2. The houses here are just a tad bigger than what I'm used to ;)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Go the Second Mile

My mind has been blown receiving all of your crazy emails!! First off, my cousin and my brother Brandon, I am so stoked for you!!! A mission call to Armenia!!! haha who the heck knows where that is, but I know that there are a million different souls preparing to receive Elder Moon. I couldn't be more happy for you and your family. Second, Bailey. When did you get pretty? That's weird to me. I have been listening to your homecoming national anthem debut and have gotten chills a couple times now. maybe its your voice or maybe its just cuz its cloudy here and there is a brisk autumn breeze... Im glad to see Brinley is gettin the hang of school and that is confident in her reading! Amo mucho a mi sobrino Camden, thanks Brittany for the constant updates and pics of that kid. He will make an incredible cowboy this year for Halloween. I am so thankful for a legit family!

OK, this week was pretty intense. Every day has continued to be pretty difficult. I have learned that the rich people here are nice, educated, well mannered, charitable, and very hard-hearted. Most of the time they politely reject us and offer us Jamaica haha the few people we are currently teaching didn't go to church this week and we only pray they might pick up their libros de mormon! Sadly we havent seen too much progress in these last 2 weeks. As of right now, we have had few lessons and nearly 0 member referrals. Andamos animando el barrio. As a leader there is always the pressure of keepin your dats high and setting the good example. However im sure next week will be better. We stay positive and keep on working hard.

One of our investigators in named Braulio and his son past away a month ago :( he is almost impossible to teach because he asks so many questoins! Conchita pulled the "It was cloudy and my joints hurt" excuse, mad props to her creativity! haha jk we love her, and want to baptize her kids too! We also teach the grandchildren of one of Hermosillos pioneers, la Hermana Carmen Matus. They are involved in the choir in the Catholic church down the street, so we have tried to get them pumped about singing hymns with us in Sacrament meeting haha

This week I was strengthened by the lyrics of a primary song called Go The Second MIle. It is sung: 
When there is a task to do, do it with a smile. Do more than you are asked to do and go the second mile. In your work and in your play, try it for a while. You'll find that you'll be happy when you go the second mile.
So, after being motivated by these words, Elder Joyner and I found our selves completely exhausted and pretty close to our house. Considering it was 8:30 we had a decision to make... call it quits and head home to rest, or go the second mile and try to visit one more house. We chose to man up and go the second mile! Well, really it ended up seeming like 4 or 5 miles because we walked 40 minutes east to visit an old investigator named Suzie. We booked it. When Elder Joyner speed walks his long strides make my strides look microscopic. (one of the cons of being a short person) I felt like I was in a slow jog just keepin up with him! haha anyways, we arrived at her house and knocked. and knocked and knocked and knocked! And family, I really wish I could tell you that Suzie came outside to greet us with a smile and desires to come to church with us on Sunday, but she never did. We knocked a little bit more and finally decided to go home. Thats it. Pretty much a summary of this week haha. Sorry if this paragraph was a little anticlamactic, but we are goin the second mile! And thats the way we will stay, but only hope we can find some work soon!

The Lord has blessed me so much in my life, and especially now with a positive drive. Constantly inspiring, strengthening, lifting my spirits and helping me keep my chin up. Oh, this week was also a multi zone conference! It was fun to see some old faces, Elder Graves, Herron, Hustis, Sponsellor. President Hernandez asked Elder Joyner and I to prepare a 15 minute capasitation on the ways we can better understand the voice of the Holy Ghost and then confide in what we hear!

Life is good! I love being a missionary and hope the Lord is blessing and helping my beautiful family as much as He has blessed me in my short time as one of His representatives. Go the second mile, smile, and keep your chin up!

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Farrow

P.S. Brandon!!!!! hahah your going on a mission! Love you man :) shwadervasten diz notengoober frandezgopper, google translate that! its Armenian for floss your teeth and slow down at speedbumps!

Monday, October 7, 2013

1st Week in Stalite

Hello my family! This week was heavy! I am gettin used to this area and am falling in love again with a new ward. like I said last week, the majority of these members are in their 40s or 50s and there are very few younger families, but I have really enjoyed getting to know all of these new members! I still haven't met more than half of the ward, but everyone I have met has been super receptive and nice to me. Oh and every single hermana here cooks sooo good. I feel like I have 50 new Grandma Moons here in Hermosillo now haha. Elder Joyner and I are getting along great. We sing all the time and have lots of fun messing around with harmonies with every hymn we sing! He is more experienced than me in the mish and is doing a great job showing me the ropes as a new zone leader. The houses are big and the streets are clean, this is something I have not seen in a whole year. Also this week I ate at Applebees!! what the heck, I had no idea these things existed here. Also we have Costco in our area! I taught in some massive homes this week. The people here are all super smart and love our message but wont really commit to anything haha I had a couple sweet experiences this week that I would love to share with you guys.

Wednesday morning we taught a non-active member named Adruzbal, great name right, an got him all pumped about General conference. We paralleled the Noahs arc story with situations we deal with today, then we switched the theme gradually to the repentance process and he loved bein reminded about our Saviors healing love. We all felt a sweet spirit. He is a musician and took great pride in playing the guitar and singing La Bamba for us! For the first time in my life I understood the lyrics haha para bailar la bamba se necesita una poca de gracia, una poca de gracia pa mi pa ti haha.

later in the week we had another awesome visit with the Hermano Carreon. He is 65 years old and blind! He lives in the only poor section of our area called La Mosca. We knocked on the outside of his gate for about 5 minutes until he finally came out of his old little house. When he did, we let him know that the Elders were there and we saw this priceless smile. He had his shirt off but had no shame in giving me a big man hug. We taught a quick lesson about prayer and he basically interupted us every time we opened our mouths! haha Before leaving Hermano Carreon bragged to us about his spiritual vision!

On Friday we also had an awesome experience! We went to visit some new members who have just moved here from Mexico DF. and when we walked in their house we were informed that the moms 2 little kids were pretty sick! they had been like this for almost 3 weeks now. Their momma said it was because of the crazy climate change. Anyways, her 2 year old little son was crying, and screaming when we walked in! Poor little guy, we knew he was feeling pretty bad. We asked if they wanted a priesthood blessing and they accepted. The mom sat her son Gael in her lap and Elder Joyner put his hands over his head and anointed him with anointed oil, and the crying stopped immediately. Little Gael was folding his arms, bowed his head and listened very closely. I then seled the anointing with a blessing, and we all felt a very very stong spirit. Later the mom told us it was one of the most beautiful blessings she had ever heard. There is no doubt in my mind that their faith and the priesthood will work miracles in that young family! Following the blessing of Gael, Elder Joyner and I switched roles and he gave a blessing to 6 year old Ari. As we put our backpacks back on and were headed out the door, Gael exclaimed, "yo quiero ser misionelo!" (with an L instead of an R) love that little kid!

Just like every week there is so much I could tell you guys, but just not enough time. Oh, and dont even get me started about conference! hah I love it. Considering there were many gringos I was able to see all the sessions in english! All the talks were stupendous, but some of my favorites were, The Prophets tender thoughst as about his wife, President Uchtdorfs talk on Saturday morning, Elder Christoffersons, Oaks, and Hollands. But those are just some. my favorite quote ended up being: "if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong!" -Elder Holland. Also Elder Richard J. Maynes helped me out a ton speaking about the necesity of spiritual endurance and stamina! We were truly spiritually fed this weekend, and I only hope we will be able to live the teachings of our prophets.

Man I love you guys. Thanks for your emails, love, prayers and everything else. I hope you have an awesome week. Please pray for us that we might be able to find some new investigators, and that they might progress by reading, asking, and going to church!! the church is true, Christ lives and loves!!

-Elder Farrow! (exclamation point)