Monday, September 28, 2015

We had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Guadalajara Temple!

Hey Everyone, I hope that this email finds all of you happy and healthy. I hope you all had another great week this week. I had a pretty great week and it was a little bit less crazy for once which was kind of nice for a change. On Tuesday we had a wonderful opportunity to go to Guadalajara and attend the temple there. I was so grateful to be able to enter into the House of the Lord and feel the incredibly strong and beautiful spirit that resides there. The Guadalajara Temple is one of the little ones that you see around the world. It really is super teeny-tiny. It only has one ordinance room and I am pretty sure that it could only fit like fifty people at a time there. It is still incredibly beautiful and peaceful there. That is definitely something I realized being there, is that no matter how big or small a temple is, it is still the House of the Lord. I really loved how all around it is the super huge city of Guadalajara and as you are inside it is completely silent and peaceful! It was kind of sad because Elder Menchu forgot his reccomend and I didn't think to ask him about it and we didn't realize until it was too late to return home for it! We got to the temple and they tried to call President Egginton but he didn't answer in time to enter the session. They still let me go in because I had mine with me and Elder Menchu had to wait with one of the Temple President's Counselors. About ten minutes after the session started Pres. Egginton called back and said he could go in, but the session had already started. At least he was able to go help with sealings, but I think he was kind of bummed out about it! I hope we get to go again soon so that he can participate! It was also really cool because the temple is outside of our mission (it is in the Mexico Guadalajara Mission), so we had to leave the mission to go. We saw a group of other missionaries there at their zone conference (right in front of the temple is a stake center). One of them was my cousin Elder Rider (Natalie's son)! We had arrived early so we got to talk to him for a minute and I took a photo with him! It was kind of cool getting to see him! Other than our trip to the temple our week was quite normal. It was really cool because yesterday Arturo, our investigator we have been teaching for a little while (off and on) now, finally came to church for the very first time. He stayed for all of our classes and at the end he said that he really liked it and felt comfortable there because he knows one of the sisters in the branch. We have been working a lot with him trying to help him improve and keep his commitments. I was glad to see him arrive at church because it really shows a desire to do what we have invited him to do! I hope that we can help him to learn and progress and prepare to be baptized! Other than our regular visits with various investigators and members not much has changed. With our baptism last week we are trying to find new people and trying to help our existing investigators to progress. Please keep praying for us to find those who are ready here in our area! I am excited because today was transfers once again, but Elder Menchu and I will be together for at least six more weeks. I am excited to see what more we can accomplish together here! I just want to leave you all with my testimony about our beloved prophets. I know that Jesus Christ has always called prophets to teach us, guide us, and to lead His church here on the earth. I know that prophets have written our holy scriptures and I know them to be the word of God. I know that a prophet must be called of God and by His authority. I know that Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration and that he translated the Book of Mormon. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet here on the earth today. I am so excited for the General Conference this Saturday and Sunday and for the opportunity that we have to listen to and learn from our beloved prophet and the Apostles of God. I know that they receive revelation for us in our day and I invite all of you to listen intently to what they speak and apply what you learn in your lives. I am so grateful for a living prophet who guides and directs us in our day! I love each and every one of you and pray for you always! I hope that you have a wonderful week and are able to learn and grow from General Conference this weekend! I love you all! Take Care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We had a wonderful week full of traveling, adventures, and a baptism!

Hey Everyone, This week was a really good and long and crazy week for us! It was full of a lot of traveling and adventures! We had the opportunity to go to Zone Conference, have exchanges, and our baptism on Saturday! It was a good week that was full of lots of things to do! First of all on Tuesday we went to a city named Ocotlan for our Zone Conference with President Egginton. We had to travel like three hours to get there and we didn't have a great idea on how to arrive there. We had to take three different buses to get there. We made the first two without a problem, but where we were supposed to take the third was a town that we have never been to and we didn't know where we were supposed to get off. We ended getting off early and then saw the third bus coming and we tried to stop it as usual and it just passed us. So we tried to follow where it went and see if it stopped further on and found out that it stopped in a bus station (that nobody told us existed) and the bus that we took to get there was parked right next to the one we needed to take. Luckily we didn't miss the third bus, but we just ended up walking extra that we didn't need too! Our Zone Conference was really good and we talked a lot about Charity and Love, Humility, and Diligence. It was really cool because the Spirit was really strong there. We also talked about our purpose as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed it. Because our meeting started late and we weren't going to be able to get home before midnight we stayed overnight with the elders there and came home on Wednesday morning. On Thursday we had exchanges so that our District Leader, Elder Toala, could do Lorena's baptism interview. She passed her interview which was really good. It was fun to have exchanges with Elder Toala. He is from Samoa, but lives in Washington State. It was fun to talk to him in English all day long and get a break from Spanish. I honestly feel like now it is easier to speak in Spanish than English because I am so used to talking in Spanish all of the time, but after talking for awhile in English it became a bit easier again. It is funny how we change words sometimes or how we randomly say a word in Spanish while we are talking. It made me laugh. On Saturday we had the baptism with Hna. Lorena. I was the one who baptized her and it went pretty well! The baptismal service was really good. We had quite a few members there to support her; that was nice because we were a little worried about that because not very many people have been attending church lately. Both of the sisters who spoke did a great job and are friends or family of her's and the Spirit was super strong. Elder Menchu and I sang Nearer My God to Thee and it went okay. I was super excited that she got baptized because we have been working a lot with her. She really is such a wonderful and fun lady and I just hope that she can help her family to get baptized now! It was good because her sister-in-law who isn't a member came to the baptism. On Sunday Elder Menchu did the Confirmation for her. He did a good job and gave her a great blessing. I am super excited to see how much more she grows as we continue to work with her! I know that her testimony will become much stronger and I am excited to see the effect she has on her husband and other relatives! Other than that we taught some other lessons, but not really anyone is progressing. I hope that with our investigator Arturo we can start helping him attend church and stuff, but last we knew he was drinking again and all of his family is worried about him. I hope that we can really help him to stop and change his life and be able to fix some of the family problems that he has because of his addiction. I am super excited because tomorrow we are going to Guadalajara to the TEMPLE!!!! I am so excited because I haven't been to the temple for over nine months now! I can't wait to feel of the beautiful, peaceful, and tranquil Spirit that there is in the House of the Lord. I hope this is the first of many trips to the temple! I love the temple so much and it is really cool because we got to see the re-dedication of the Mexico City Temple just last week! I just want to leave you with my testimony of Our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is the author and writer of our faith and that through our faith in Him that we can receive many miracles and great blessings in our own lives. I know that He suffered and died for us, but that too He was resurrected that we might live once again just as He did! I know that it is only through that great Atoning Sacrifice that He made for all mankind that we may be made clean of our sins, have comfort in trials, and return to live in the presence of God. I am incredibly grateful for Him. I love all of you so much and I hope you all are doing well. I hope you all have a wonderful week this week and take care of yourselves! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Thursday, September 17, 2015

We got to watch the Re-dedication of the Mexico City Temple.

Hey Everyone, I hope you all had a good week this week! My week was a pretty great week. We were able to teach quite a bit and had the opportunity to participate in some fun events! This week we finished teaching Hna. Lorena the lessons. She is doing really well. She has developed a testimony of the Gospel and we can see her growth everytime we visit with her! This week we taught her about the Temple and Family History Work and she was excited to look up pictures of the temple on her computer. We also taught her about service to all men and in the church as well. Yesterday we had a practice baptismal interview with her and I think she is very ready to be baptized this Saturday! We asked her who she wanted to baptize her and she asked me to do it. Elder Menchú will confirm her on Sunday. I am super excited that she is going to be baptized because we have been working really hard to help her prepare! She is such a wonderful lady and I am so excited that she has made the decision to be baptized. Do you remember Arturo?? He is an investigator I told you guys about awhile back. Well he went to rehab for drinking and hadn't had much of an opportunity to visit with him lately. Well this last week he got out of rehab and we went and visited with him. He has a great desire to change his life and fix the problems he has made for himself. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom the other day and he said he would do all he could to live it day by day and step by step. I really hope that we can help him to progress and be baptized. I know it will help him to change his life so much. Well yesterday we had the opportunity to go to the Rededication of the Mexico City Temple. It was absolutely wonderful and the Spirit was super strong. President Henry B. Eyring presided and said the rededicatory prayer. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was also there and we got to hear them both speak on the importance of temples and the blessings they bring in our lives. We went to two of three sessions and it was absolutely wonderful to be able to see and participate in the rededication. I understood everything that was said both in Spanish and English! Haha. It was a really neat experience and I am thankful that we got to go! On Saturday night we also had the opportunity to watch the Cultural Celebration for the Temple. They broadcast it to all of Mexico. It was cool to get to watch it. They had lots of dancing and singing. They told a story of the History of the Church in Mexico and some specific stories about some of the first members here. It all led up to yesterday when the temple was to be rededicated. It was a really fun program and I loved it. I just want to share with all of you my testimony of the Temple. I know that the Temple is the House of the Lord and therein we can receive ordinances and make sacred covenants necessary for our salvation. I am so thankful for the Priesthood Authority of God that has been restored here on the Earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I testify that our Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, holds that same Priesthood Authority. I know that through this authority we can be sealed as families for time and all eternity. I am so thankful to know that my family can be together forever thanks to the temple. I love each and every one of you and hope you all have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful week!

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful week this last week! I had a pretty good week. We are just working on finding people to teach and trying to teach those people that we do have! I had a week full of traveling once again! I went to Sahuayo for companion exchanges and then on Friday we had Zone Meeting and we went to Chapala. I am doing pretty good and I had a good week! On Tuesday last week I went to Sahuayo with Elder Ruiz (he is the companion of my district leader, Elder Toala (who is from Samoa)). I was there Tuesday and Wednesday and on Thursday morning I returned to Tizapan. Elder Ruiz is a new missionary in his second transfer. It was kind of fun to go teaching with him and see how it is to be a new missionary from the perspective of someone else! I can see in Him such a vigor for the work and excitement in being here, and it makes me want to redouble my efforts everyday. I could see him striving to learn to be a better teacher and the little things that he can improve and do better. It was a cool experience for me because it helped me to see really how much I have grown and learned in the months since I arrived in the mission. I still feel new somedays, but really I have grown so much and I cannot wait to see how much more I can learn in the coming months! It was super hot in Sahuayo (it is about an hour away in Michoacán) and it helped me to be thankful for my area. Really here in Tizapan it is rather temperate because of Chapala Lake and we receive more rain here too! This week it was a bit cooler because it rained a little bit more. On Saturday it rained almost all afternoon which was much appreciated. Really I like my area a lot it is super green and beautiful. Hna. Lorena is doing really good. We got to visit her two times this week (well I visited her once and my companion visited her twice because of exchanges). She is progressing really well and I can see her testimony growing. Last week we taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she liked to drink coffee but when we taught her she said she would try to quit. This week when we visited her she told us that she hadn't drunk coffee since that lesson and that she only had a headache for two days afterward (she was afraid of more problems from quitting the coffee but was surprised that she could do it!) On Thursday we taught her about Priesthood and Missionary Work and we were able to help her understand better some of her questions. She understood the lesson really well and we invited her to share the Gospel. A day later we saw her husband in the street and talked to him for a minute and asked how they were both doing. He told us that they were doing good and then said "ella va convenciéndome me" which means that she is convincing him about the gospel. He then asked us about a class about self-sufficiency that we are going to have in the coming month. I hope that through her and this class we can help him to be baptized as well! She has a baptism date for the 19th of September and I hope that we can baptize her on that day! She is getting excited for her baptism! Other than that we had our Zone Meeting on Friday in Chapala. It went really well and we talked a lot about Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel which is about developing Christlike attributes! I love this chapter and President Eggington wants to use it as a way to strengthen all of us as missionaries, so that we can then strengthen the members and investigators we teach. He has also asked us that we start working more with less active members to strengthen the wards and branches where we serve. He told us that of 1.4 million members of the church in Mexico only 400,000 are active and we have a great responsiblility to help those who are not active to become active and to keep the covenants they have already made. I am excited to see how it goes. It was a good meeting. I just want to testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that there is not other way to find greater joy or happiness in this life than by following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know He loves each one of us. I am so thankful for Him and His great atoning sacrifice that makes it possible for us to become better every single day! I know that He is aware of all of us and that through Him and His loving hand we can do anything! I hope you have a wonderful week this week! I love all of you! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Thursday, September 3, 2015

We found some new investigators!

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful week this week! I hope that you are all doing well and that life is going good for you all! Last week I wrote to you about hope and the need we all have to remain hopeful and to patiently persevere through our trials and challenges. I am not going to say that all of our challenges and trials automatically disappear at once and that everything becomes perfect if we have hope, but it helps us to continue forward with faith and a surety that something better will come from what we are experiencing in the moment. The last few weeks have been challenging for me and my companion in that we have not had many investigators and not had many teaching opportunities, but this week we got a little glimpse of what can come if we remain hopeful and continue to work diligently and obediently inspite of dificulties and challenges. This past week we found NINE new investigators. Six of them we found last Monday in a Family Home Evening with a Family in the Branch who invited us to give a message to their neighbors. They are two different families and we shared a message about the Articles of Faith to give them an idea about what we believe as "Mormons" or members of the church, we used that to transition to a short message about the Restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. We left them with a Book of Mormon and a commitment to start reading it. Unfortunately they didn't come to church, but we are going to visit them this week and hopefully we can help them begin to gain a greater understanding of the Gospel and start gaining a testimony. The other three are part of Maria Luisa's family (she is Arturo's Mom) we visited her this week and we realized that many of her children live with her still and two of her sons and her husband are our new investigators. We taught them about the Book of Mormon as well and they showed a great deal of interest in reading and learning more. I was very excited about being able to start teaching them and look forward to helping them to learn and grow in the gospel. Our only other investigator at this time that is really progressing is Lorena. She has her baptism date scheduled for September 19th. She is doing quite well and has a strong desire to learn and grow and progress. The hardest part with her right now is that with her son, Jesus, who is 3, it makes it really hard for her to stay to all 3 hours at church because he is really active and doesn't like to stay in his class. Yesterday finally he stayed there but she had to stay in his class with him, but the members are finally starting to be more helpful with him, so I hope in the coming weeks she will be able to get a better feel for Sunday School and Relief Society, not just Sacrament Meeting. She is reading in the Book of Mormon really well and has questions every time we visit her about what she has read. We taught her the other day about the Word of Wisdom and she hasn't drank a cup of coffee since. I am very excited for her. Otherwise we are just trying to find other investigators and this week we are going to focus a lot in those new investigators we found last week and try to help them to progress! Really the work is slowly moving along here! Sometimes it is hard, but really I have seen the hand of the Lord in our work as we have worked to do our part. I know that He is blessing us for our efforts to do what He wants us to do to find those who have been prepared to receive this gospel. I want to leave you all with my testimony of Joseph Smith. I know that he was called to be the Prophet of the Restoration. I know that in 1820 God the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ appeared unto him and called him to be a prophet in our day and to restore once again the Gospel on the Earth. I know that through him, Jesus Christ has restored His church here on the Earth and that we now have the fulness of the everlasting gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon was a key part of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith translated that ancient record by the power of God and that it is truly the word of God. I know that if we will study and live the principles in the Book of Mormon that we can become closer to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. It has strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ. I love that book and I know it is true. I love each and every one of you and I hope you all have a great week! Take Care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie