Monday, April 27, 2015

How are you all doing?

Hey Everybody, How are you all doing? I hope that you have all had a wonderful week! My week ended up pretty good. I am happy and enjoying myself enen though we have had a few challenges in the last two weeks. Our biggest challenge is that Adrian and Angel Arredando still haven't been confirmed since their baptism three weeks ago. I think it was hard because they missed the first Sunday after their baptism because they went to visit their grandpa, and have then since lost interest in going to church. This is hard for us, but we are still working with them trying to figure out what we can do to help them and figure it all out! Our other challenge is that we don't have a ton of people to teach and we are struggling to find new investigators. Really I think that is one of our biggest obstacles, is just finding people we can teach! We are trying to find new people, but so far we haven't had much success. We did recieve a couple of references today that we need to contact so hopefully they will be a good start! Other than that we are doing pretty good. The Vazquez Family is doing pretty well. I am so excited for the progress they are making. Last week we taught Damian and his family about the Word of Wisdom. He drinks a lot of coffee and we set goals with him so he can quit. He has gone from drinking three coffee's a day to only one which is faster than even our goals were that we set with him! I love to see his enthusiasm and commitment to change and live the way that God wants for us. I am so glad I get to teach and help them follow Jesus Christ. It was also really cool too because they signed up to feed us on the lunch calendar in church. It was funny because the four of us (we always eat with the other two missionaries in our ward( arrived for lunch and Elizabeth had bought half of a roasted chicken for every single one of us. She said, "I heard someone in church say you guys eat a lot so I got you all your own half!" We all ate our whole half chicken, but I was super stuffed. It was good though and I had lots of fun! Really we are doing pretty well all together just searching for people to teach! I am praying that we can find the ones who are searching for the gospel so that we can help them! I love teaching but it is pretty hard when we don't have anyone to teach! Please pray for us to find them I know that it will help us! Really even though it is a challenge I am so thankful to be here serving my mission! I know that I am being blessed for being here serving God! I have learned in this past week so much more because of this challenging period we are having! I know that God gives us these trials so that we can be strengthened and learn to grow and have more faith in Him! I know that God loves me and every single one of you. I am so thankful to know that we are his children and that he wants the very best for every single one of us. I know that He has a plan for us and that through living His gospel and commandments that we can find greater happiness in our lives now and for eternity! I am so grateful for that peaceful knowledge and that I can feel His love around me! I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you and pray for you! Thank you for all of your love and support for me! Con Amor, Elder Mitchell J Condie

I hope you all had a wonderful week and that you are doing well!

Hey Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful week and that you are doing well! I want you to know how much I love you guys and that I pray for you always! I hope that you are all happy and healthy and that life is going good! This week for me was a hard week. On Monday we had transfers and Elder Benitez became my new companion. He is a wonderful person and I am thankful to have him as a companion. He has eight months in the mission. He is a happy person with a dedication to the work of the Lord and I am thankful to have him here to help me with the work! I already feel like he is my friend and I think he feels the same about me, I hope! This week was hard because we struggled to find people at home to teach them. Since Elder Ventura left, I am the one that knows the area and it is hard for me to lead out in who we will visit and when. We didn't have many lessons and that was hard because it meant a lot of walking in the heat, and it has been hot this week! We went in search of many future investigators and didn't find anyone all week long. That is our goal for this week that we can follow the guidance of the Spirit to find those who are ready for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. Even though it was a hard week it was good for me. I know that we experience challenges in our lives so that we can grow and learn and I am thankful for this challenge. I know that through this I will learn how to better plan to find people and to also have success in teaching those whom we have already found! I am comforted by the scripture in Ether 12:27 which talks about how God gives us weaknesses so that we can become strong through our faith and reliance upon him. I know that I am learning more every day how to have that faith and to rely on him and his will for us. As missionaries I know that he guides us and directs us, but that we need to be open to his guidance and direction. I feel very priveledged to be here in Mexico walking all day long in the heat and the dust so that God can show me my weaknesses and so that through my faith and trust in him that he can help me to grow and become stronger through him and his love. I know that God loves every single one of us. We truly are his children and He wants the best for us in our lives. He doesn't give us these challenges because He doesn't love us, but He gives us these challenges because He knows that we have the strength to overcome them with His hand in our lives. I know that He lives, that He loves us, and that He is aware of our challenges. I know that it is only through Him and His atoning sacrifice that we will overcome all that we have been given to carry and overcome. I love Him for these challenges and I know that He will give us all the strength we need to overcome them. I love you guys and hope you have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Thursday, April 16, 2015

It was a good week - We finally had our baptism

Hello Everyone, I hope this last week was good for all of you guys! My week was pretty good! I hope you guys are all staying healthy and happy! I hope that you are finding success in your lives! I want you all to know how much I love you guys! Our week was pretty good. We finally had our baptism of Adrian and Angel Arredondo on Tuesday night. I am so thankful that we were able to have that baptism because we worked like crazy to help it happen! Thankfully their dad was able to make it and it all ended well. I baptized Angel, who is ten, first and then Elder Ventura baptized Adrian, who is twelve, right after. Victoria, our recent convert, lives near them and we have had her come with us a few times to visit them, anyway she shared the thought about baptism in the program and it was really good. I love to see the growth in those we teach! That is the biggest blessing of being a missionary to me! The Vazques family is doing good. They are progressing so much. This week we found our that they are not married, but they said they would get married so they can be baptized. They went to church with us yesterday. It was Damian's first time in our regular meetings and he was just asking question after question which was really cool. This last week I had a really great birthday! Thanks for all of the birthday wishes! We went to Sirloin on Monday, then Tuesday after the baptism the ward threw a surprise party for me, Elder Fuentes (our zone leader, his birthday was on the 5th), and another sister in the ward. It was incredibly nice of them! Elder Ventura received a package last week and his Mom had sent me a birthday present. It was two shirts one from EFY and a basketball jersey from Benemérito, the school that is now the CCM (MTC), Elder Ventura went there. It was a great birthday! Well today was transfers and it is bitter-sweet because Elder Ventura left me. I am still in my same area and house; he is going to be a zone leader in an area on the coast (it's like nine hours away). That means I have finished my training. My new companion is Elder Benitez,(Ben-ee-tezz) he is from Mexico City. I think it will be good for me to learn and grow but I am also nervous! Elder Ventura was a great companion, but I look forward to getting to know my new one better! I am starting my fourth transfer here and last week I passed my four month mark which feels fast but slow at the same time! Really it is good and I am excited. I am so thankful for this chance that I have to serve as a missionary of the Lord. I know that this is his restored gospel on the earth and that he is at the head of the church! I am so thankful that we have a living prophet who leads us and guides us in this day! I am so grateful to know that God has a plan for me and every single one of his children and that he is watching over all of us! I am so thankful for this knowledge and the opportunity I have to share it with others! I want you to know I love all of you! Have a great week! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a good week! I also want to wish you all a Happy (late) Easter (yesterday)! I hope you all enjoyed the break that you had and that you were able to have a chance to rest and relax! I want you all to know how much I love you and that I think about all of you often! This week was a really good week for us! Last Monday we had our zone activity, then on Friday we had a zone meeting, and also exchanges, then on Saturday and Sunday we had the opportunity to listen to General Conference. We didn't have our baptism though; the reason being that Adrian and Angel's dad couldn't get off work, so it will be on Tuesday night when he can be there. Luz Maria isn't going to be baptized because she says she wants to wait, at this point we are not sure why, so we are trying to figure out what we can do to help her! It is difficult for us because she seemed excited and ready, but hopefully we can figure it all out! Our other investigators are doing well. The Vazquez Family is doing wonderfully. Before we thought that only Elizabeth and her two kids were going to be able to be baptized because Damian (the Dad) works as a taxi driver and works Sundays; so without attending church he can't be baptized; but when we taught about baptism the asked what they needed to do. We told them that they need to go to church and keep their other commitments. He said he would change his work schedule so he could go! He went to the Priesthood Session of Conference with us and next week he will be going to church with us. Elizabeth and her kids went to three out of the four general sessions of Conference, both sessions on Saturday, and the morning session on Sunday! They are great and I am so excited for them and the progress they are making! The Gonzalez Family is doing okay, they have yet to come to church which is challenging, but we are still working with them to teach them and resolve their questions and doubts. The dad has had many different bad experiences with other churches and wants to be sure before he makes any big decisions. He has a true desire to know the truth but he is very confused with everything that has happened in the past so we are trying to help him to be less confused. I hope we can continue to help them learn and grow. Today was a good day for us. Four of us (Elder Ventura and I and Elder Fuentes and Elder Creason (our zone leaders, who are in our ward with us) went to Sirloin Stockade for lunch. It is just like a Golden Corral. It was Elder Fuentes' birthday yesterday and mine on Wednesday so it was a fun little celebration for us! General Conference this last weekend was absolutely wonderful! I loved every session. I listened to all of it in Spanish and really I understood most everything! I feel like I am finally understanding Spanish better just in time for transfers next week (I am afraid I will be getting a new companion, I just hope I can communicate with him as well as I can with Elder Ventura!) I encourage all of you who didn't get to watch or listen to go and watch it online at it is wonderful and inspired messages for us in this day! I don't know what was my favorite, but I loved all that they talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ because of it being Easter yesterday! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that through his Atonement we can overcome all things! I am so thankful for the opportunity we have at this time of year to celebrate His Sacrifice of the Atonement and His Resurrection. I know he is mindful of us and through fervent prayer we can find help and solace in all times. I know that His hand is in this work. I know that He is preparing people to receive His Restored Gospel and that He makes the pathway possible for those who have the faith to follow Him. I can see Him touch the lives of those we teach every single day. I love this work and am so thankful to be a part of His holy work! I love all of you and pray for you! I hope you have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Looking forward to Baptisms this week

Hello Everyone, I hope you guys have all had a good week! I have had a pretty good one. We have been teaching a lot, which is really nice. I hope that all is well with all of you at home and that you are all happy and healthy! This week has been super hot, and it makes me wish for the rain again! The hardest part is that everyone keeps saying this isn't even the hottest it gets. I am praying that somehow I will be able to handle it as it gets hotter! I have been using lots of sunscreen so at least I am not sunburned! I am excited to tell you that this Saturday, April 4th, will finally be our baptism. It has taken us forever I feel like to get Luz Maria, Adrian, and Angel Arredando to be baptized, but it will be this Saturday, finally. It is so exciting for us to finally have them be baptized, because we have been working with them the whole time I have been here! Although it has taken awhile for them to be baptized, I feel like it is probably better because they are more prepared and ready. It is cool too because now they are much more excited as well! I am also excited that it will be the same day as General Conference! Our other investigators are doing well. The Vazquez Family is doing really great. They have so many questions and such a desire to learn about the gospel. We have had some wonderful lessons with them and I love watching them grow in their understanding. I really hope that they are able to find a testimony through prayer and come to the knowledge that this gospel is true! I know that it can bless their lives so much! The Gonzalez Family, our other investigators are doing really good as well. They too have many questions and desires to learn. Yesterday we had a wonderful lesson with them about the Book of Mormon and how to receive and answer about all things through prayer and the power of the Holy Ghost. We taught a lot about how we can recognize our answers with him because he has many doubts. Really it made me think a bit, What do I feel when the Holy Ghost speaks to me? Well really it is kind of hard to explain, but I will try my best. The Holy Spirit can speak to us in many ways but I feel it most commonly as a feeling of tranquility and peace in my heart. I am a worrier and therefore I usually have some amount of stress, but when the Holy Ghost testifies to me of something, I do not have fear of it anymore, I feel a sense of peace and calm that doesn't come in any other way to my mind and my heart. I know that the Lord speaks to us through the Holy Ghost but if we are not living so that we can have his companionship we will not feel or recognize when he is speaking to us. Really this is the work of the Lord and I know it is through Him and His gospel that we find true and everlasting happiness in our lives. I am so excited because last Saturday started our new campaign, Because of Him. This is a worldwide campaign sponsored by the church, that speaks about the great blessings we can have because Jesus Christ was resurrected and lives and guides us today in our lives! I want to invite all of you to go visit the webpage and watch the beautiful video and explore the web page about his life, atonement, and resurrection. I want to share my testimony of Jesus Christ with all of you. He is our loving brother. Our loving Father in Heaven gave his only begotten to save every single one of us. Really it is the greatest gift we have been given. It is through his teachings and his ministry that he gave a perfect example, and if we follow his commandments and his perfect example that we can receive all that the Father has. Jesus Christ is our loving redeemer. He suffered all pains and afflictions so that we might have the opportunity to repent and become clean, but more than that he suffered all of the same saddnesses that we may feel, he felt the pain of our hearts in hard times and the pain of all of our sicknesses and afflictions. He is here for every single one of us to help comfort and support us. He knows what we feel and he wants to help us in every moment. He is always with us in the good times, the bad times, and the in-between! I know that Jesus Christ lives and that through him we can all have eternal life! I love him and am so thankful that he loves me and every single one of you! I know that my redeemer lives and oh how sweet the joy I feel when I think of him and feel his loving arms around me helping me through everything in my life. I know that many of you are members and that some are not, but my message is the same to you all. Just like at the end of the video I invite you to Find Jesus Christ in your lives. I know that it is through him that we will find the greatest joy in our lives. I love him and his atonement for us. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and I know it is through him that we can become whole and fulfill all of our potential! I love all of you guys and hope you have a wonderful week! Go watch that video it is beautiful!! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie