Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Our baptisms went great and I got a surprise new companion!

Hey Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful week this week! Our week went pretty well overall even though I cannot believe that once again we are already to Monday writing to all of you! Time is flying by so quickly and sometimes I hate it! Before I know it I will be back in Utah and this will all feel like a long dream. Well anyway this week was a pretty great week even though it was full of crazy moments and some big changes. It was also full of great experiences and wonderful memories! Well on Thursday as Elder Tzub and I were doing our weekly planning and all of the sudden out of nowhere our mission president, President Egginton, called us. The first thought that came to my mind was "What did I do wrong as a District Leader?" and I got all scared. Even though I have been trying to do a good job leading our missionaries here in the district. It wasn't a call because we had done something wrong, but because he was asking if we could help him in a tight situation. One new elder, Elder Hernandez, has been having a hard time with his trainer because he treated him very badly telling him he couldn't teach and many other hurtful things. So President Egginton decided it would be better to have special transfers to help him out. Well Elder Tzub has been in Rio Verde for six and a half months (this is his fifth transfer here -the same amount of time I had in Tizapan almost) and so President decided that he is going to send Elder Tzub to Zacapu, Michoacan, where Elder Hernandez was, and that I am going to finish training Elder Hernandez for his last three weeks of training. Elder Hernandez got here on Thursday and we are in trio until President Egginton can take Elder Tzub to Michoacan. It worked out well though because we were able to still have him here for the baptism on Saturday and he is still trying to show us a bit more of the area together because I still don't know it perfectly. On Saturday we had our baptisms. It all went pretty good once we had the font filled but getting the font filled was quite a fight! We got to the church and found out that one of the doors to the cistern, where we have to close a valve to allow the water to stay in the font, was locked closed and we couldn't find anyone with the key. So we had to break the lock with a rock in order to fill the font in time for the baptismal service. I kind of felt bad that we damaged it, but I do feel like it was necessary. We were five missionaries trying to open the door and we were all prepared for the baptism with everyone invited and everything. After the service though the Bro. Rodriguez who works in the maintenance office told us it wasn't a big deal and that they would fix it! Elder Tzub baptized Pedro, Elder Menchu baptized Franscisco, and I baptized Maria Jose. It was a beautiful service. Their Mom, Lucero, who is a member spoke on baptism and I know she was super excited for that moment. It all really went perfectly in the service, and the Spirit was very strong! Then yesterday they were all confirmed in Sacrament. Bro. Rodriguez confirmed Pedro, Elder Hernandez confirmed Maria Jose, and I confirmed Francisco. It was wonderful and I am excited for their family. They plan on being sealed in a year from now! Really the work is progressing well. We have other investigators who are moving towards baptism and I am excited for them. Hopefully with Ruben we can finish teaching him in time to be baptized on the fifth! Well anyway I will tell you more about them next time! I just want you all to know that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church of God here on this earth. I know that by living the commandments we have recieved through the scriptures and revelation from living prophets will lead us to greater happiness than any other thing in this world! I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that the church was restored by proper Priesthood authority. I am so thankful to have that authority to bless the lives of other people and I love being able to help others to make sacred covenants with God! I love the Gospel. I love being a missionary. I love God and my Savior Jesus Christ. I love each one of you and I wish you all the best this week! Take Care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I'm getting to know my area, companion and the people better! We are looking forward to some baptisms!

Hello Everyone, I hope that you all had a wonderful week this week! This week was a good week and it seemed to go easier and faster than the first week in my new area. I finally feel like I kind of know at least where I am even if I still don't know the whole area. Our area is the biggest in the zone, so that means that we have a lot of areas I still probably don't know about yet. It has been fun though getting to know it a bit better and get to know the members. Yesterday was my first day in the ward really because last week was Stake Conference. I really enjoy being in a ward again because there are many things happening and we as missionaries can enjoy a bit more attending the meetings without having to teach classes or bless the sacrament and things like that. Not that I don't like helping, but it just makes it a bit easier to enjoy the meetings and feel the Spirit. I really enjoyed it and was able to get to know a few other members! Well as for our investigators we have four that are really progressing. This week three of them will be baptized on Saturday. Pedro, Maria Jose, and Francisco. We had some wonderful lessons with them this week and they are very ready to be baptized! I already love them so much and I feel like they are 'my converts' already. The other day we asked them who they would like to baptize them and they decided to have all three of us baptize. Meaning that Elder Tzub will baptize Pedro, Elder Menchu (who has permission from President Egginton to come to the baptism) will baptize Paco (Francisco) and I am going to baptize Maria Jose. I am super excited and I know that it will be a great experience! Our other investigator that is progressing is Hno. Ruben. He was the new investigator we found last Sunday. He was a reference from a member and we have been teaching him since. He has already come to church several times and he is learning a ton. We only got to have one lesson with him last week which was yesterday because of scheduling conflicts, but it was a great lesson and he understands well. He will be baptized on March 5th if all goes well so we are excited and now stressed to finish all of the lessons in time for that day! I am sure we can do it, it will just require careful planning! Really this area has been a fun change even though it has been hard adjusting. I am still missing my last area and companion a bit, but I know I will get more adjusted with time. Really this is a good ward and I think there is some great potential for growth here! I am excited to work with the members which has been a huge focus of our mission this last little while! I am slowly learning how to be a better District Leader too! I just want to testify that the Lord has given all of us many blessings. At times we may be tempted to look at our situations or the difficulties we are experiencing and get depressed or feel self pity. I know that we all have problems and challenges, but I also know that God still blesses and helps us. He is a loving father. He wants the best for us. I know that as we look for the good in every situation, stay positive in the negative moments, and remember the blessings through the trials; we will be strengthened by Him. He has strengthened me and I know He can strengthen all of us. I feel a great deal of His love and I have been greatly blessed to learn to love all of those with whom I work. I know that He gives all of us gifts and abilities that we may bless those around us. I know we are of worth because we are children of God. As we work to move forward he will always help us! I love each of you and I hope all goes well this week! I pray for you and think of you all often! Take care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

I hope you all had a wonderful week, mine was long trying to get used to my new area!

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful week. My week seemed super long in many ways being in a new area and being disoriented for the majority of the week. It was kind of hard feeling that way because for the last six months I felt like I knew my area and I could get from one area to another without a problem. Guadalajara is a lot more complicated. The week seemed fast in other ways because we did a lot. My area touches part of the city Tonala and also part of Guadalajara itself. Our house is in a really nice residential development but the rest of the area is a bit more typical Mexico. Many people talk about assaults here, so we only carry fifty pesos (like three bucks) for buses and the other necessities. I may not be able to send many pictures because my camera is almost always at home. I think all will be well, we take care of ourselves and the Lord always watches over us. I still feel pretty reliant on my companion in the area and in getting to know people, but I know with a couple of weeks I will figure it out a bit better! Right now I still don't know many of the members or investigators but this is what I know so far: We will be having a baptism on the 20th or in two weeks. The investigators are the husband and two kids of a sister who has been a member for most of her life. Lucero is the Mom (member) and it is her husband Pedro and her daughter Maria Jose and her son Francisco (they call him Paco) who will all be baptized. They have progressed a ton from what I hear. They were seperated and he decided to listen to the missionaries as a way to fix things with her. Later on he developed a testimony of the gospel and he set his own baptismal date. I am super excited for them because they really are a great family and I see a great potential in them! It is also nice to finally have some progressing investigators to teach! Other than them we found a new investigator yesterday. He was a referral and he is an older man. He has already gone to church four times and he accepted the fifth of March to be baptized. Hopefully he does! Church was different this week because it was Stake Conference, so I didn't really get to meet many members! It was really uplifting and the Seventy, Elder Carillo Riveras, talked a lot about missionary work, so that was really awesome. Overall it was a good first week. I just want you all to know that I know that the Gospel is true in all of the world. It doesn't matter where you are or who those around you are, the Gospel never changes and is always true. I have learned that God truly loves and blesses His children in all of the world, and in all circumstances. I feel His love everyday, and I hope that all of you feel it often. I encourage all of you to ask for that love and to feel it everyday and you will all know that He loves you! He only wants the best for all of us, and He will give it to us according to our obedience. I have no doubt of this because He has made it known unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost. I love each and every one of you and hope that this week is prosperous and joyful! Take care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

A busy week with lots of traveling, training, teaching, and a transfer!

Hey Everyone, I hope that you were all able to have a wonderful week this last week! Our week went pretty well and it was quite busy. We had to travel three days. First on Tuesday we went to Sahuayo for our District Meeting, on Wednesday we went to Guadalajara for my appointment with the neurologist, and then on Friday we went to Zamora for our special Zone Conference with President Benjamin de Hoyos. Overall it was quite a crazy week not to mention that I got transferred today back to Guadalajara meaning that yesterday was a long day of visiting lots of people and a long night trying to pack all of my bags. I can tell you I have way too much stuff! This week we had the opportunity to teach quite a few lessons with our investigators. We were able to teach Francisco, Lorena's husband, two times. We had some good lessons with him and I now think that hopefully he is becoming a bit more interested in listening to us and receiving the lessons than he has been the past few months. On Friday night after we came home from our Zone Conference in Zamora we went and had a Family Home Evening with them. We watched Meet the Mormons and it was a good visit. I really hope that someday soon he starts going to church and makes the decision to be baptized! On Friday we had a wonderful opportunity to get to participate in a special training with President Benjamin De Hoyos (the Mexico Area President) in Zamora, Michoacan. It was a wonderful meeting where we discussed much of what we learned in our Worldwide Missionary Training the week before. He talked a lot about how we need to help others to truly become converted unto Christ. He talked to us about our need to always testify of Jesus Christ and His Atonement for all mankind. The Spirit touched me so strongly about the importance of teaching simply and clearly so that they can truly understand the sacrifice Jesus made as He suffered our sins, temptations, pains, afflictions, and trials in the Garden of Gethsemene and as He died on the cross. It was a very powerful meeting with him and I felt very privileged to be able to receive instruction from a General Authority of the Church. Then on Saturday we had a really fun day. We had a talent show as a branch and Elder Muñoa and I were in charge. We had the opportunity to see the talents of many of the members and it was really fun. All week long we worked on our own presentation to share in the talent show. Elder Muñoa has been playing Tahitian instruments for seven years and dancing Tahitian dance for six years before his mission. He and I decided it would be fun to learn a more simple dance that I could learn and we practiced it all week long. We even made decorations out of palm leaves for when we danced in the talent show. It was quite fun and we shared our 'haka' as our part. It was super fun to learn the dance and I think the members enjoyed it as well. It was super hard for me because my legs are definitely not as strong as his with so many years of practicing! It was fun though and it was a great way to end my time there with him and in Tizapan. Honestly it is super hard for me right now being transferred. I knew that it was almost certain because I had already been in Tizapan for five transfers and Elder Muñoa finished his training. It just makes it hard because I really do love the area and the members, but hardest of all is leaving my companion. Elder Muñoa was a huge help to me and support to me in my trials and I learned so many things with him. It was even better because I was training him and I have been able to see how much he has learned and grown. I am really going to miss being with him because we got along so well and had so many fun and also trying moments together that strengthened our relationship. I am excited though to see how much more he grows without me there and see what he does as he continues in his mission. Really it was such a blessing to be a trainer and to have such a great missionary to train! Now in my new area my companion is Elder Tzub. He is from Guatemala. We are serving in the ward Rio Verde in the stake Reforma in Tonala, Jalisco (one of the many cities that make up what people know as 'Guadalajara'). I am excited to get to know him and the ward here. I am also now a District Leader so that gives me more responsibilities to take on. Hopefully I can do a good job! I know that this will be a good area I just have to get used to the change. I am bad at change sometimes! Really overall I am doing well and enjoying my mission. I know that sometimes in life there are hard changes and moments when we are scared or not sure how to move on or face a certain situation. I know that in those times is when we are tried in our faith and confidence in God. As I have faced those hard moments in my mission I have truly seen great growth. I know that as we trust in God and His plan for each one of us is when we can grow and learn. Sometimes we face situations or moments of insecurity or doubt, but as we trust in faith he can lift us and make us stronger. I know that His plan is perfect. I know that He understands the difficulties and trials we face and that as we trust in Him, He will lead and guide and help us. I know He loves me, I know He loves you, and I know He loves all of His children. I hope you all have an excellent week! I love you all and pray for you always! Take care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

We had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Worldwide Missionary Training!

Hey Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful week this week! Our week went pretty well. We didn't have very many lessons but we were still able to enjoy our week and learn something new. I hope that all of you were able to enjoy and accomplish many things this week! First of all we had a wonderful opportunity this last week to participate in a Worldwide Missionary Training. It was the first one they have had in over a decade. It was an amazing opportunity for all of us missionaries all over the world to learn and receive instruction from church authorities. We got to hear from three apostles, members of the quorum of the seventy, and other general authorities of the church. It was an awesome training full of inspiring messages and ways that we can improve our work as missionaries. I really loved it! With our investigators this week we didn't have many lessons. We didn't have the luck enough to find them the majority of the week. We had a lesson with Aaron. He is a great kid with a desire to learn more of the Gospel. The hardest thing with him is that we haven't been able to help him get to church because he works on Sundays and can't really change his schedule because his only day off he goes to school in Guadalajara and can't change it. Hopefully we can help him to find a way to get even just an hour to come to Sacrament Meeting on Sundays. We also had another lesson with Martha another investigator that we found the week before. She is a nice girl with interest in how to become better. Hopefully with more lessons and work with her we can help her to work towards being baptized. Other than that we got to go to the Guadalajara Temple on Saturday night. It was a wonderful opportunity to accompany the branch members to our District Temple Night. I loved being able to return to the temple again finally. I felt so strongly the Spirit while there and it testified to me that it truly is the House of the Lord. I love the feelings of peace and calm that I feel while there. I love visiting the temple and feeling God's presence there. I just want you all to know how thankful I am to be a missionary here in Mexico. I have been so blessed to learn and grow. I know that God has a perfect plan for each of us and I know that He inspired my call. I know that if we trust in Him and the things He calls us to do that we will always have success and happiness. I know that He loves each of us and knows what we need best and as we have faith in Him, He can guide us and change our lives. I love each one of you and hope you all have a wonderful week! Take care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie