Sunday, July 31, 2016

We had some good lessons this week with our investigators!

Hey everyone, I hope that all of you have had a wonderful week and that you are all well. I have had a pretty good week this week. It was hard getting adjusted to leading the area with a new companion and I still missed Elder Cruz a bit, but I am getting slowly adjusted to my new companion Elder Felix and I enjoyed our time together. We had some great lessons this week and I was able to feel strongly the Spirit this week. It felt weird guiding the area alone this week. It was the first time I have guided and area alone in six months so it took some getting used to once again. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to do that again for a long time as I had hoped that Elder Cruz would be my companion longer, but this week was the trial as I was forced to do it with the transfer. I guess I did a pretty good job because we didn't get lost and we were able to make it to our scheduled appointments. I think I have been blessed to be able to learn the areas quickly it just is kind of challenging because my companion doesn't know much and is still quite disoriented here. Hopefully quickly he will learn and it will become easier. Elder Felix is a good missionary and I think it will be fun for us to be here together. I know that he will become a good companion for me, it has just been hard accepting the unexpected change. He has six months in the mission, but he is already a pretty good teacher and I have enjoyed learning to teach with him. He is from Tabasco, in southern Mexico. He is a serious person, but can be pretty fun when he wants to. I am excited to get to know him better. This week we had some good lessons. The best lessons were with Beatriz. We taught her twice. The first time we focused a lot on the need for her to pray and ask God if she should be baptized so that she can make the decision to be baptized. She told us she wants to and is convinced that she will do it, but just not sure of how soon. We also had another lesson on the Plan of Salvation that was super powerful and she was super overcome when we talked about the fact that we can have eternal families and as we receive the ordinances of the Temple that we can be saved in the Celestial Kingdom. She loved hearing that and told us that she has felt that since we have been visiting and teaching her that she feels "full" whereas before she never felt the same way. It has been really cool teaching her and to top it all off yesterday in Gospel Principles we learned about Baptism and she talked to us after and told us that she knows she needs to be baptized she just needs to decide when. Hopefully we can help her to be baptized soon. We were finally able to find Jaime again this week and finish lesson one on the Restoration with him. We were able to explain it to him and help him to understand that there is a living prophet here on earth and to also understand the need of the Book of Mormon. It was a good lesson. He also came to church yesterday, so hopefully we can continue to visit with and help him to learn about the church and progress towards being baptized. Overall it was a good week. I just want to share my testimony of the importance of obeying God's commandments and living his laws. I know that really our happiness here in this life and our eternal happiness depends on our obedience and our decisions here and now. Of all the things we can teach and learn in the Gospel I think this is probably the most important principle of all. Obedience is key to our success. If we choose to do what is right we will never go wrong. If we live righteously we will have what God knows is best for us and He will continually bless our lives. I know He lives and that He loves us. He has given us commandments for our good and if we will live them we will be happy! As President Monson says, "Decisions determine destiny," so let us make wise decisions always. I love each and every one of you! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Take great care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Monday, July 18, 2016

I'm sad that Elder Cruz got transferred because he was a great companion!!

Hey everyone, I hope that you are all well and that you have all had a great week. This week for us went well and we had lots of fun, but was a trial for me at the end. My companion Elder Cruz got transferred and I am sad because he has been a really great companion for me and I didn't want him to leave. That was probably the hardest transfer I have yet faced in the mission. We were only together for one transfer but we became really great friends and I feel that I was able to learn many things from him in the short six weeks that we spent together. I could tell that it was also a really hard transfer for him. He only had two transfers here in the ward and I could see that he did not want to leave yet and he really struggled as he left today. I really hope that we can serve again together, but I know that if that is not possible that it is because we learned what we needed to learn together. He was just a great companion for me who taught me to love openly and serve with my whole heart and I am going to miss him a lot. I still wish he was here with me, but I think what I have to learn about this is that it not so important what I want or my will, but the will of the Lord and what He wants and what He knows is best for each and every single one of us as His Children. With Elder Cruz we were able to work hard together in this area and find lots of people to teach and strengthen many others. I could see that he truly loves and loved the people here and I hope that I can develop that same love for all of those that we teach and serve here. Our investigators are doing well. Beatriz and her son Jose are still progressing well towards baptism on their date of August 6th. They have attended church every Sunday since the day we found them and I am super excited to work with them. They are pretty much the only investigators that are showing an active progress. They have a great desire to learn and to do what God would have them do and I am so thankful to have received their referral. Hopefully we can continue to help them to learn and to grow. My new companion is Elder Felix he is from Villahermosa, Tabasco, México. He has six months in the mission. He seems like he is super excited to work hard and help the members to be involved in the work and I hope that together we can hasten the work here in our area! I am thankful to have him and I hope that together we can become great friends and do a great work to build the faith of the ward and the people we serve. I know that sometimes life throws at us trials and challenges. Things that we do not want or expect or wait for. Things that we wish wouldn't happen or have happened. Things that we cannot control or cannot change. It is in those moments that we can decide to give up or to be stronger. I feel like I am in one of those moments in my mission and as hard as it is, I have to be stronger. The Lord doesn't ever give us any trial too big or too strong to overcome. He gives us things to make us stronger and to help us grow! I know that if we trust in Him and do what is His will for us we can become better than we ever were before! I know that change is hard, trial is hard, and that as we trust in Him all is easier. We can do hard things. We can do all things. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). I love you all and hope that you have a great week! Take care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

The work is going well! I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon!

Hey everyone, I hope that you are all doing well and that you have all had a wonderful week this week. Our week this last week went pretty well. We were quite occupied as always with many different activities. On Monday we had interviews with President Egginton so we didn't have P-day until Tuesday. On Tuesday we had a big zone activity and we had lots of fun playing soccer, basketball, steal the flag, having a water fight, and eating pizza. Saturday we had Zone Meeting and it was super awesome and it was super inspiring and I am just excited to work and help others to come unto Christ. Really the work is going well. Our investigators are doing alright. We have quite a few but not many are really progressing much. We haven't seen Jaime now for two weeks. It has been really difficult to find time to visit him and the times when we have had appointments set with him he has not showed up. He hasn't been to church since the first Sunday that he came, so we really don't know what is going on with him. Hopefully this week we can locate him and see what is up because I really would like to find him and help him as he showed a sincere interest in leaving behind his addiction and drawing nearer to God. Beatriz is doing really well. She has shown a great interest in the Gospel and I feel like she is progressing really well. She and all of her four children came to church again yesterday. We were only able to visit her one time this week in her house because of lots of craziness with our schedule, but we had a really good lesson with her and she asked us a lot of really good questions. Many of which are focused on lessons that we teach as missionaries and doctrine of the church. I can tell that she has a true desire to follow the Savior and do what he desires of us and she just wants to receive His help to be a better mother (she is a single mother). Her oldest son is 13, his name is Jose, then after that she has a 7 year old daughter and a son and a daughter that are about 5 and 3 years old. I know that the Gospel will be a huge blessing in her life. It was a huge testimony builder to me to see her in church yesterday too because on Saturday when we saw her she had told us that she wasn't sure if she was going to be able to go to church because she didn't have money for the bus, but I can tell that she made an effort to get the money and she was there early on Sunday morning and stayed the whole time. Anyway I know that this work is the work of the Lord and that in His timing and in His way all things work out and work together for the good of all men. I want to testify of the truthfulness as well of the Book of Mormon. I finished it once again this morning and I am certain that it is a true book of scripture. I know that it is divine, it is of God. I know that it was translated by Joseph Smith a Prophet of the True and Living God. I know that it is true becasue I have read it and prayed to know of its truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost. As I have lived the things that the Book of Mormon teaches I have experienced a greater change of heart than in any other way. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is a true book and that it combined with the Holy Bible contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to read it once again in the next three months as our mission president has challenged us to do and I look forward to the things that I am sure I will learn and the new changes it will cause in my life! It is a very special and important book. I know that all of you can know that it is a true book as well if you will read it, meditate the message it contains, and ask of God in Jesus' name if it is true. If you will do that I am sure that you will receive an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true. I love each and everyone of you and I hope you are all well! I hope you have a wonderful week and take great care! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Email from June 19th. Elder Condie has a bad cold! But still working hard!

Hey everyone, I hope all of you are doing well. I am doing alright. I have a cold right now unfortunately. Hopefully in a short amount of time I will be able to get over it and feel better. I have found that there are always trials and challenges in the work. This is just another one. Other than my cold this week went pretty well. I feel like I am getting to know my new area better and I already feel like I am getting to know some of the members well. I am already liking the people that we are working with. This week we had more lessons than the past week and we were able to find six new investigators. Some of the investigators that we found are people that were before investigating the church but for one reason or another stopped listening to the missionaries or the missionaries stopped visiting them. Hopefully we can help them to progress towards baptism and if not at some future time they can do so. They received us very well and told us that they feel that the message we share is true. I feel they are mostly just scared of making the decision of being baptized and leaving behind the things that they do or the religion they currently practice. That sometimes is the biggest and hardest challenge to help people to overcome, but I know that when people truly make the sacrifices necessary that God blesses them with infinitately more. Yesterday was my first day in our actual ward because last week was Stake Conference and I enjoyed being there. I learned a lot as I was there and I was able to feel the Spirit strongly. I am excited to get to know the people here better and hopefully help to strengthen the members. We have our Zone Conference tomorrow with President Egginton and the majority of the meeting will be focused on working with members and all of the ward and stake leaders have been invited to be present at that meeting. I hope that as we are all there we may be inspired on how we can better work together to strengthen all of those who have withdrawn themselves from the church and those who have fallen through the cracks. I know that as we work to strengthen those in need and to search for those who are weak that we are strengthened. I know that as we focus on those around us and not on our own selves we are blessed. I have found that it is from selfless service that one finds greatest happiness and joy. I have found greater happiness here as I have served the Lord and His children than in any other moment in my life. I know that this is truly the path to everlasting joy and true happiness in eternity, to give freely of ourselves to build others and to help those in need. I promise as we seek to do so that we will all find the meaning in our own lives and fill our hearts with joy and peace. I love all of you and wish for you the best. Take care! Love, Elder Mitchell J CondieWee

Happy Independence Day! We found a great new investigator!

Hey everyone, I hope you are all doing well and that you were all able to have a wonderful Independence Day! I was thinking a lot about all of you yesterday and about the many blessing we have living in the United States of America. I honestly have seen more so now since being here in Mexico that it is a great blessing to live where I live and to receive the many blessings that come from living in a free country where we may live what we choose to live! Our week this week went pretty well although we were pretty busy working to help the sister missionaries in our ward make their baptism happen through a few trials! By the end of it they had their baptism and everything. We found a really great new investigator this week, her name is Beatriz Vazquez. She was a referral from a less active sister in the ward. We went and visited her on Saturday and found out that she is a single mother with young children. She has two sons that I think both are at the age of baptism one is 14 and the other close to 8 and then she has I think another daughter and son that are younger, we didn't get to know them all very well because they were all outside playing while we were talking to her! She showed great interest in our message and committed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray. She also came to church on Sunday with her children. She has a baptismal date for August 6th and hopefully she can be baptized on that day as long as she continues to prepare to be baptized! It was another great blessing of the Lord for us. Jaime we haven't been able to visit this week because he hasn't been available and he didn't come to church. Hopefully we can find him one of these next couple of days and see how he is doing because we don't really know what is going on with him and all, but I hope that we can continue to help him to progress and learn of the Gospel! So far our investigator that has shown the greatest interest and progress is Beatriz so I am excited about her! Really all is going well for us in the work and we are enjoying all that we are doing! I love this work and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be here serving as one of the Lord's missionaries! I am so grateful for all that I have learned here and for the blessings I am receiving! I know without a doubt that if we strive to live the commandments of God with all of our heart that He will bless us. I know that He looks upon the heart and He sees us for who we are striving to become. He does not set His sight upon our mistakes, but upon our triumphs and as we come unto Him and repent of our mistakes and sins He will remember them no more. I am certain that this is possible because of the perfect sacrifice of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I love Him. I love our Heavenly Father and His perfect love for us as His imperfect children with a divine potential. I know as we strive day by day to improve and to continue forward he will strengthen us in every footstep. Of this I am certain and for this I am incredibly grateful! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week this week! Take great care! and HAPPY FOURTH of JULY!!!!!! Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie

We had a Great Zone Conference!

Hey Everyone, How are you all doing? I hope you are all doing well. I am doing pretty well. I am feeling better now than I was last week. I am not sick now like I was last Monday and this week was a really good week for us. We were able to have lots of lessons and find some new people to teach. On Tuesday we had our Zone Conference with President Egginton and it went really well. He talked a lot about the importance of consecrating ourselves as missionaries and focused on a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley that is in Preach My Gospel that says, "Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause." It was a really interesting discussion talking about how we can lose ourselves in the service of others. I think it is a challenge in many ways losing our pride and thinking always of other people and their needs first. It has been a huge challenge for me as I have tried to work to overcome my many medical challenges with my constant headaches and focus on the work inspite of that constant distraction, but I have found that it is truly a blessing to focus on those around us and not on ourselves. I know it is a constant battle to look out and around first instead of inward, but I know that true happiness comes through selflessness and service. We found several new investigators this week but pretty much only one of them really shows much promise. His name is Jaime. He was a referral from a sister in the ward. He has told us that he is an alcoholic and that he is getting divorced. He lives really close to the church. We had our first lesson with him on Tuesday and then another lesson with him on Saturday. He came to all of church yesterday and then also stayed afterwards to a baptism that the Sister Missionaries had for their investigator Hno. Arturo. Jaime seemed pretty excited and interested in everything that he learned and he seems excited to learn more about the Gospel in order to overcome his addiction and be able to become better. We are going to see him again tonight. Hopefully we will be able to help him overcome his addiction to alcohol and help him progress towards being baptized! Really I know that this church is true and I know that it is Jesus Christ's Church here upon the Earth. I know that Joseph Smith was His Prophet called to restore the principles and doctrine that was lost through years of apostacy and change. I am thankful to know that through him the Authority of the Priesthood was restored here upon the Earth and that today we have a prophet that guides and directs the church. I am so thankful to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that guides us through our Prophet Thomas S. Monson and that as we live the Commandments and follow his counsel we will be blessed. I love all of you and hope you have a wonderful week! Take care. Love, Elder Mitchell J Condie