Monday, December 26, 2011

Venid y Ved

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! We sure had a fun one! We didnt have power friday through sunday so that was an interesting adventure but its all good because missionaries are almost never in their house anyways! We had a stake missionary activity in a public park in Cuernavaca at the beginning of the week to spread the good news of our Saviors birth. The program was called Venid y Ved and the Cuernavaca zone of our mission sang hymns and it was a great showing. We had our branch christmas party later that night in Tepoztlán and we also had a great showing of about 80 people there in our tiny house of prayer. My companion and I enjoyed serving the food and mingling with the members and their non member friends throughout the evening. On Christmas Eve night, we went to the Relief Society Presidents house and had dinner and enjoyed watching the kids open their presents that were under the Christmas tree. The Sister even gave us wrapped presents that all ended up being chocolates. On Christmas morning we had to wake up early, get ready in the dark, and head to San Andres to teach a lesson. We taught a 21 year old that has already been to church 3 times and loves it a ton. He is a super cool and nice guy and our lesson went great. He is going to get baptized in a couple weeks!! We then welcomed all the members of San Andres to church and quickly took the combi to get back to Tepoztlán in time for our services. Not many people showed up to church. In fact, only the Branch president and the Relief Society President were there with us when we were supposed to start but after waiting a little a few more filed in. We enjoyed our Skype calls to the family, it was great to hear from them and see their faces. We found out this past weekend that they are not going to send missionaries to San Andres for at least 6 weeks more so we will continue working in the two areas this change. I would like to share today something I shared with my family yesterday that was one of the highlights of this Christmas. Our mission president here challenged us at the beginning of the week to write down in our daily agendas something specific about Jesus Christ for every hour of the day. Throughout each hour, we think of that thing to keep out bad thoughts and distractions and to also keep ourselves focused on our purpose as missionaries. This week has been such an amazing week just as I have strived to follow that counsel of our mission president. I feel like my relationship with my Savior is growing and that He is helping me in every phase of this ever-important work. I love Him and enjoy serving in this part of His vineyard. Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! Love,
Elder Stutz

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pongo mi Confianza en mi Salvador (I put my trust in my Savior)

Happy Holidays everyone!
I hope everyone is enjoying there few weeks off of school! We had a decent week this week here in Tepoztlàn and San Andres. We worked hard amidst the crazy celebrations going on in Tepoz. Right now the catholic church is doing what are called posadas. Every night they have a program in all the churches where everyone goes to get candy, light fireworks and in some cases to get super drunk. So it was tough to find success as most people are not in their houses. So we have tried to work with the members more and with the less actives a ton. But of the few lessons we were able to teach, the Spirit was so strong as we bore testimony of the Savior and His restored Gospel. We did a fun stake youth activity on Saturday morning in Cuernavaca where each missionary took 4 youth from the ward and contacted the local park. We did so for 2 hours and I let the youth take over in my group to bear testimony of the Gospel and then write down the information of the people so the missionaries could stop by another day. It was a huge success even though of the hundred references we got, none are in our 2 areas. But we were happy because we saw the light in the youths eyes light up as they were able to share their beliefs with complete strangers. They are going to become great missionaries! On Thursday we had a special Christmas mission conference with 3 zones and President Spaanaus. It was super fun!!! We started by playing white elephant with the 50 elders and sisters that were there and I got a sick hammock!!!! Tooo bad there isnt room in our little house but hopefully ill be able to use it in others areas. Then we had a talent show where we saw a ton of AWESOME talents!!! Our district did a skit of the Scrooge story Missionary style. I was Scrooge and my companion was Elder Cratchett. I was a missionary that had a terrrible first Christmas in the mission and I didn't like the mission anymore. Elder Cratchett was an enthusiatic new missionary. I brought down his spirits by telling him how bad Christmas is in the mission and how he wasn't going to talk to his family or get presents from family or friends. Elder Cratchett gets discouraged and in the night the 3 ghosts visit me and you get the picture. I turn everything around and we have a great Christmas as we work hard bringing souls unto Christ. It turned out really well and we had a lot of fun. President Spannaus then gave a talk that changed my life. He talked of all the things that people put their trust in or the things that bring people happiness. A great loving family, a successful career, lots of money, lots of assets, skills in sports, social skills. He then snapped his fingers and said all these things can end and be taken from us in an instant. The only thing that cannot be taken from us is our relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ. I want everyone to know that I am here on the mission, inviting people to come unto Him for only one reason. I am not here to impress my friends. I am not here to bring honor to my family. I am not here to learn another language. I am not here to travel the world and get to know different types of people. I am here because I love Him and I put my trust in Him. His Atonement has changed me completely and I am the person I am today because of Him. I love Him and celebrate His birth this year by inviting people to follow His perfect example.
Have a Great Christmas!!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, December 12, 2011

Doble la Cantidad de los Escogidos

Hey everyone!
Well we enjoyed another great and crazy week in Tepoztlan! There are always fiestas here but this week has been even crazier than usual due to the día de la virgen Guadalupe where all the catholics celebrate like crazy. Last night there was a party outside our house and there was a band playing and fireworks shooting all night long haha, pretty crazy stuff!!! We also felt the earthquake on Saturday night. We were in our house and we live on the second floor so we felt a pretty good shake but it only lasted a few seconds. It was my first earthquake so I was pretty pumped but a lot of the neighbors freaked out. We enjoyed a week filled with visits to members houses to strengthen their faith in Christ and increase thier desire to share the Gospel. We did several Family Nights where we played Spoons and sang Christmas songs. There arent a ton of families in this little branch so I have had the opportunity to become very close with almost all of them the last five months and I love them very much. I have a feeling it might be harder to leave Tepoz when the time comes than it was to leave home for the mission. Yesterday in church we taught the Gospel Principles class on the Holy Ghost. There were a couple of investigators in the class and a few members. It was a super powerful lesson as each member shared experiences they have had with the Holy Ghost. At the end of the lesson, a couple sisters started talking about us, the missionaries, and began to cry. She said that out of all the missionaries this branch has had that we have been the ones that have strengthened their home and brought more peace into their lives and into thier families lives. They then went on to say many kind words of how I have helped them turn bad days into great days with a smile and a few kind words. I was so touched by their comments and know that we carry the Holy Ghost with us as missionaries. Yesterday we also found out that we are now in charge of the San Andres ward!!!!! The San Andres ward is made up of 3 pueblos so its a pretty big area. So our area just doubled in size and we have another ward. Un fortunately, both areas meet at the same time for church so we wont be able to be consistent with one or the other. But we are super stoked because the bishop and mission leader there are brand new and ready to work. So we are totally pumped but we have a TON of work to do. This next week is going to be crazy busy but rewarding as well. We had a great pday today as we hiked Tepozteco with the district leaders. It was just as fun the second time and I can never get sick of the view from up there. Well now ill end with a few miracles that have happened with an investigator this past week. So her name is Brenda, about 26 years old and was super interested. We had had a lot of great lessons with her and she was just beginning to read the Book of Mormon. She is someone who has a lot of health problems and is trying to figure out how to get better. Miracle no. 1: She was super sick this past week and whenever she felt bad she would open up the Book of Mormon to a random page and begin reading. She told us that every time she opened it it talked of baptism, so she took that as her answer that she needs to get baptized. Miracle no. 2: We taught her the word of wisdom on wednesday and she has a pretty strong addiction to coffee and she knew it would be hard to overcome. But she committed to live it and we promised her blessings and that Heavenly Father would provide the way so that she could overcome this addiction and be baptized. She went to a doctor the next morning to do more tests and figure out how to get better and to her amazement, the doctor told her to stop drinking coffee and she would get better. She then went to another doctor to get a second opinion and he told her THE SAME THING. She felt truly blessed and now has a testimony of the word of wisdom as she now tries to overcome that addiction. She came to church on Sunday for the second time and is preparing to be baptized within the month. I know this work is true, it is the work of the Lord. I also know that miracles DO exist today. We just have to pray and look for them. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my Savior full-time, on the front lines of His army for two years! The time definitely goes too fast so im trying to make the most of it!!! Tengan una buenísima semana todos!!!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, December 5, 2011

Por Sus Frutos Los Conoceréis

Happy Lunes Everyone
We enjoyed a great week this past week. It might have been one of my happiest of the mission. We started off working super hard with a ton of great appointments. At the beginning of the week, most of them fell through and we were a little bummed but didnt let it get us down. We continued to work hard and saw the blessings later. We had a few family home evenings with members this past week and they went really well. We are still trying to figure out ways to encourage the members to share the Gospel with their friends. At least they are starting to trust us more and increasing their faith in Christ. It was great to see on Sunday every adult that we had a family home evening with the past week came up to the stand and bore their testimony about missionary work and how we as the missionaries are working like crazy to bring the Gospel to the people of Tepoztlán. We finally met the husband and father of Esther and Anay (who were baptized about a month ago) and we have started teaching him. He seems pretty interested and he would be a great strength to the priesthood body here of the Tepoztlán branch so we are excited to continue to work with him. We also found a family this past week that is pretty interested. We taught the parents and the oldest daughter about the Book of Mormon. The daughter and mother seem really interested and eager to find an answer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I remember testifying of the Book of Mormon in that lesson boldly and with the Spirit. Never have I taught with the power and authority that was given to me in that short testimony. The Spanish came out perfectly and they understood me perfectly and realized the power and importance of this great book, which is the fruit of the prophet Joseph Smith and is evidence of the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. I know I was given that power to testify because we had been praying, fasting, and studying up the words of the scriptures diligently, just as the sons of Mosiah did in the Book of Mormon. We have been searching desperately for families and we are going to continue doing that this week. We enjoyed a service project in Cuernavaca with the whole zone on saturday as we raked leaves and sweeped at the library. Afterwards, Elizabeth entered the waters of baptism. Elder Bangerter baptized her and it was a great experience. Although not very many members came and the service wasnt planned very well by us, I felt the Spirit and know she did too. Well we are pumped for another great week here in Tepoztlán! We just found out that they are closing the area next to us, San Andres, so we will likely work in both areas so lots of work to do!!! I love this work and know that we are influencing many lives and families for generations and generations. I love being a small part in the work and glory of God to save His people so that they can return to live with Him. Love you all
Elder Stutz

Monday, November 28, 2011

La Caridad es el Amor Perfecto

Hey everyone, hope everyone enjoyed their turkey this past week. We had a solid week of constant hard work. Elder Bangerter and I are hitting the ground running with our companionship and doing everything we can to get the missionary work rolling here in Tepoztlán. The let down this week was that Elizabeth did not get baptized but we are planning on baptizing her this next Friday so we are very excited for that. We focused our efforts this past week on finding a family that is ready to hear the Gospel. We prayed, fasted, studied, and planned everything to be able to find a family we could teach and help to progress toward baptism because that is what this small little branch needs, FAMILIES!! We found little success in the first few days of the week. Then on Friday we left in the morning feeling really strongly about finding a great family that day. As we left the house we recieved a call from our district leader who told us he felt prompted to call us and exhort us to do everything we could to find a family and teach them that day. He was at the point of tears on the phone because the prompting had come so strong to him. We worked all day to find that family and returned home that night with nothing. We felt a little down but the Spirit boosted our attitude because we had done all we could. Saturday came and we did the same thing, through the members and contacting we desperately looked for this family. In the evening we stopped by a house and felt like we should see who lived there. The dad walked outside and immediately invited us in without us saying more than Hey were missionaries and we want to get to know the families around this area. We taught them for awhile of Joseph Smith, eternal families, etc. and they seemed pretty interested. We dont know if this is the family we were looking for but it was for sure a miracle that they let us in. We are going to continue to focus on finding families again this next week. We also had the opportunity to speak in Church. Elder Bangerter did a great job in his broken Spanish as he talked of adversity to the members. I felt impressed to talk about charity with the members because we really believe that if they increase their charity, they are going to have a stronger desire to share the Gospel with their friends. It turned out well and we set up a family night with the members EVERY night this week. so we are pumped for sure. I dont think i have been happier or have enjoyed the Spirit as much as I am now in my whole mission. I literally feel like we are being guided by the Spirit in everything we do and teach. The members are starting to trust us even more and we are set to have a great month of December. I love this work, I cant wait to get up each morning to study specifically for the investigators and then go teach them according to the Spirit. As I have plead in prayer for the gift of charity, I have been blessed with more pure love for this people and for a true desire to teach them the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love it here in Tepoztlán and am gratedful for the prayers and support I recieve from those family and friends back home. Love you all
Elder Stutz

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Preparativos Para La Guerra

Hey Guys!
Happy Thanksgiving week! I have so much to be grateful for here in the mission field right now. I got my new companion last tuesday, Elder Bangerter from Dennison, Texas. He came straight from the MTC in Provo, Utah and he is really excited to serve. We started right off working hard and sweating as we climbed the Tepoztlán hills, looking for people to teach. We found some success this week but we are hoping to find more next week. We had a great planning session yesterday and we have a great week lined up! We also have a baptism this Friday so that is going to be a great blessing and Elder Bangerter is stoked for his first baptism! Well sorry for this pathetically short letter, we dont have much time but the title of my email this week comes from the war chapters in the Book of Mormon where we learn from the example of Capitan Moroni. He was a man of God who fought for his family, religion, and his God. We learn that the reason he was so successful was his preparation. In Alma chapters 49 and 50 we learn of all that he and his army did to prepare themselves for war and they aways were able to defeat their enemies. I know that in order to be successful in this life and overcome the temptations and attacks from the devil, we must prepare ourselves with the scriptures, prayer, goals, etc. We must constantly be doing these things to overcome this world and find eternal life in the life to come. Love you all and hope everyone has a great thanksgiving!
Elder Stutz

Monday, November 14, 2011

Te Hallaré Mi Querido Amigo

Hey guys hope everyone enjoyed their week! We had a pretty solid one as we tried to end this change on a high note. We worked a lot with the members and with that ended up teaching more less actives than investigators, which we loved. We met a few less actives that haven't gone to church in years so we are excited to work with them. We also had a stake activity on Thursday which was a Talent Night. No one from our branch came so that was a bummer but there were a lot of pretty cool talents. As missionaries, we did a skit with the whole zone and it went really well. Its called the SIN CHAIR and what we did was we had a chair on the stage that had a sign on it that said sin. I was elected to act as Satan and beckon someone to sit in the chair haha. So the person sits down and can't get up. Then each missionary passes by the guy in the chair, doing something to try to help him get out. We had a bomb squad, hippies, guitarists, a painter, a firefighter, and some other stuff. But no one can help the guy out of the chair until lastly the misionaries pass by and teach him about the Book of Mormon. At the end of the skit we did the Te Hallaré Mi Querido Amigo skit/song and it was pretty powerful. Its basically a little skit in the Pre existence where two guys read where they are going to be born, if they will be born into the church and all that. One of the guys gets sent to the US and will be called to serve a mission in mexico. The friend gets sent to mexico where he will not be a member and will have many trials. So the American then promises his friend that he will find him and share the Gospel with him. Then the song we sung goes along with that story. Everything turned out really well and we had a ton of fun doing it as a zone.
So we do have changes this week. My companion is headed to Guacamayas in Michoacan (super far away) and I'm staying in Tepoztlan. I'm pumped to stay and he was pretty sad to leave but he is going to be great as district leader over there. So now I'm with a few elders in Cuernavaca, waiting for our new Americans to show up. I took my first REAL shower without using a bucket for the first time since arriving here in Mexico! haha I've been called to train an American that is coming striaght from the states. I'm super excited to work with him, especially to learn from him because I am still learning lots about how to be an effective missionary. I'm really humbled as well to be entrusted with a new missionary. I remember just a couple months ago being in his shoes, a little nervous and scared but really excited. So I think we will have a great week of finding and teaching and hopefully a baptism. I meet him tomorrow so next week I'll have lots of updates.
Just want to share my testimony that I know that this is Christ's church on the earth. He helps me everyday as I use His Atonement and look to spread His message of love and mercy. I know that there are people in Tepoztlan that need my and my companions testimony to accept the restored Gospel right now and enjoy the blessings that come from it. I love it here and cant wait for this next week. Love you all!
Elder Stutz

Monday, November 7, 2011

¿Me Amas? Apacienta Mis Ovejas

Hey Everyone,
Exciting week to start the month of November! Día de los Muertos here was pretty crazy. Tepoztlán is a crazy tourist town so tons and tons of families traveled here to trick or treat around main street. It was pretty crazy to see thousands of people out in the streets, many of them dressed up. We celebrated the holiday by working hard in the vineyard of the Lord! We had a tough start to the week because we had to move houses which took almost a full day. We then found out the next morning that we had to move back so we did that the whole next day haha. What a waste of time!!! We were pretty exhausted afterwards too! But we had a great Zone Conference on Thursday that boosted our confidence and motivation. President spoke and testified of the Living Christ and developing Christ-like attributes. It was amazing and we left uplifted, motivated, and ready to go out and serve as the representatives of Jesus Christ that we are in our respective areas. I left from the Zone Conference to a place called Zapata with Elder Smith to do divisions. Elder Smith and I love working together and we had a blast! We teach super well together and we loved teaching this 19 year old young man that is preparing to be baptized. We loved teaching him to figure out his doubts and then helping him to resolve them. I think it might have been one of the most spiritual lessons of the mission for me. I'm super pumped for him to be baptized! We also have a funny story from our food from that day. We arrived and the Hermana wasnt there but her two 8 and 7 year old kids were. We waited about a half hour and then were about to leave when the kids offered to make us dinner. We said no but they made it anyway haha. They were locked in their house and we couldn't come in either so they had to pass it through the window and we ate the eggs and sweet pea soup that these little kids made for us there on the side of the road haha, it was hilarious and didnt taste too terrible! The Hermana got back as we were finishing up and was super embarrased haha! Sweet kids!!
So the great news this week is that Esther and Anay got baptized and confirmed!!! The night of the baptism started rough when they met us in the centro about a half hour late and then we went to Presidents house so he could take us to San Andres but he wasnt there. So after another half hour we found his son and he took us. We showed up and there was only one member there. We waited another half hour there and then a few more members showed up. But once the baptism started it was amazing and filled with the Spirit. Elder Oswald baptized Esther and I baptized Anay. It was super special!!! Then on Sunday, President asked me to confirm Anay a member of the Church and to give her the Holy Ghost. It was my first time doing that so that was very special and I was touched by the Spirit. I know that this is the work of the Lord and that we are guided by the Holy Ghost everyday to those that are willing to listen and pray. I know that people are prepared to hear us here in Tepoztlán, we just need to find them!! I have seen how happy this Gospel makes people and families. It is true. Christ lives, His church is on the earth and it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love this work, its something I want to do my whole life. Thanks to everyone for their fasts and prayers in our behalf, they make such a difference!!!! I love you and have a great week!
Cuídense Mucho,
Elder Stutz

Monday, October 31, 2011

La Fe de los Escogidos

Happy Halloween!
Hey hope everyone is doing well this week! We had a pretty crazy week again this past week. On Thursday we went to Mexico City so that Elder Oswald could see a doctor up there for a skin infection he has. He is healthy and all but he might need surgery soon which would put both of us out of work for at least a week, but we are going to see what happens when we go back up there again this week. It was fun though being in the city, it really is gigantic!! The secretaries drove us out there and we got lost several times but it was real fun! We also had an adventure this weekend when late friday night we both started throwing up and got really sick. We had a pretty miserable 24 hours there in the house, taking turns in the bathroom but luckily we are feeling better now!! Even though it was a terrible experience I was pretty excited that I finally got sick in Mexico! But apart from those experiences, it was a great week of sharing the truth with many souls here in Mexico. Remember the family I wrote about last week that got robbed? Ya we were pretty worried about them at the beginning of the week but found out on Wednesday when we taught them that they found who did it and that they got most of their stuff back. So things have calmed down with all of that which is a relief. And on that Wednesday we were able to talk about eternal families and temples. Ester, the mom, lives with her 2 young kids Anayi and Octavio. Their dad is working tin the United States right now and will return in a month. As we taught them of eternal families and the temples, their eyes just lit up and we know they are going to be sealed as an eternal family one day. Ester told us that her husband is ok with them talking to us and everything but that she wants to wait till he gets back to Mexico so they can all get baptized together. We understood that desire, even though we had set a baptismal date for this coming Saturday, November 5th. Well, we passed by their house on Friday and they didnt have time to talk but Ester told us that she prayed about it and feels she needs to be baptized this Saturday and be the example for her husband and her kids. It was a MIRACLE!! We were so happy to hear that and she is someone that has been so prepared to hear our message and accept it. We love their family with all of heart and we are so looking forward to hers and Anayis baptism this saturday! I wish I had more time to write but know im doing well and am very happy serving the Lord. We are just trying to continue finding the people who have been prepared like Ester and her family. Thanks to everyone who has said prayers and done fasts in our behalf, they make such a tremendous difference. Love you all so much, enjoy your week!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, October 24, 2011

La Parte Divertida de la Misión es la Compañía del Espíritu Santo

Hey Guys!
Hope the week went well for everyone! We had quite an excellent week with some ups and downs! We did divisions with the District Leaders this past week. Elder Smith stayed with me in Tepoztlán and Elder Oswald went to Zapata with Elder Gonzalez. It was a tough day as we didnt teach any lessons. I was bummed that we had walked the WHOLE day and didnt teach at all while Elder Smith was there. He didnt mind though and actually loved the time we spent talking to so many people, even if they didnt want to accept us. We felt really good about the work we had done at the end of the day so we kept our heads up. Elder Smith taught me a lot about the attitude towards the mission and how to measure success. We also talked a lot about finding the elect of God, or in other words, finding those who have been prepared to hear the word and really, truthfully want to listen to you. That can be challenging sometimes because there are a lot of great people out there that we have taught but truthfully just are not ready to start making covenants with God. So we are really focusing on finding those who are prepared to hear our message. We had a baptism this week!!!! Yazmin was baptized on Friday and it was amazing. She is 8 years old and all her brothers and sisters are members but her parents are not. We asked her the week before if she wanted to get baptized becuase she had just turned 8 a few months ago and told us she didnt really want to. We asked her to pray about it that night. In the morning when we walked down to their house, she ran up to us and yelled ¡Ya me quiero bautizar! She prayed and felt great about it. Kids are such great examples of faith!!! Her nonmember parents went to the baptism and practically all the active members of the branch came as well! The support and love from the branch was amazing and the parents noticed it. They also came to church on Sunday to see the confirmation so that was really special. We are going to continue working with the parents because they want to get baptized too. The problem is they sell shoes in the mercado every sunday and dont want to give up their work to go to church because its their source of income. It is going to come down to faith with them. If they exercise their faith in the Lord and stop selling on Sundays and come to Church, He is going to bless them with enough money to sustain the family. One trial of faith we experienced was that a family that we are teaching right now and that is preparing diligently to be baptized got robbed this past week. Everything from their house, money, tvs, telephones, everything. We were heartbroken because we love this family so much. We know this trial of faith is going to help them be even better members of the church when they get baptized. So the title of my email comes from something in the Missionary handbook. In the introduction it talks about the importance of the Holy Ghost in the calling of a missionary and that we should STRIVE TO ENJOY THE COMPANIONSHIP OF THE HOLY GHOST. I dont think I ever thought of it that way, I mean I have always loved feeling the Holy Ghost but we should always enjoy His presence. I have really tried to do that this past week. Pray for His guidance and ENJOY it. I have found greater joy in following Him and doing this work for the Savior than I have ever felt in my life. I know that sometimes the world makes bad decisions look more fun, but the true joy comes from the companionship of the Holy Ghost that comes according to our obedience and willingness to submit to the Lord and do His will. I hope we can all strive to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost this week as we do all we can to do the will of the Lord. Love you all lots and appreciate so much your prayers in my behalf!
Con Muchísimo Amor,
Elder Stutz

Monday, October 17, 2011

El Poder de Dios Obra Milagros (The power of God works miracles)

Hey Hey!
What a roller-coaster of a week! Lots of trials and even more blessings! I'll use my time today telling a story that changed my life and the faith I have in miracles. Remember the rain story from last week? So the people we taught in that lesson are not too interested so that was disappointing for us, especially after our experience with the rain storm and everything. As we were about to head to their house to teach them one night, we felt like we needed to visit a member on the way. The member that gave us the reference to see these people that we were going to go teach was randomly there at the other members house and told us that her freinds wouldnt be able to meet with us that night. We were disappointed but glad that she let us know before we walked there out in the boonies. As we were about to leave the members house, this member asked us if we would like to go visit someone else with her that lives in Amatlán, another pueblito that is pretty far away. We agreed to do so and learned on the way there that the man we were going to go visit is blind and had just recently had another surgery to remove a tumor in his head. He had recieved a blessing from a brother in the branch before the surgery but didnt know anything about our church or who the missionaries were. We got there and met this wonderful man who treated us right at home in his little humble shack. He told us that he knew he was alive because of the blessing he recieved from this brother. As we were about to start the lesson, his sister walked into the house and began asking us about what we do as missionaries. She said she had seen us before but thought we only visited the sick and that that was why we were there at her brothers house. We explained that we are here to share the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with EVERYONE and that she was welcome to stay and participate in the lesson. She agreed and invited her little kids to join us. We had such an amazing lesson, completely guided by the Spirit. We sang Families Can Be Together Forever with them and talked a little bit about that principle. They loved the lesson and invited us back in two days. We made the trip back down there on Friday to see them and taught them about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was present and testified to everyone there that Joseph Smith had really seen God the Father and Jesus Christ and that the Restored Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. When we gave each of them a copy of the Book of Mormon, each of them held it tightly to their chest as if it were some kind of treasure or long-lost belonging that had just been found. The mom teared up, seeing her young children (ages 9 and 7) begin reading the words of Christ and ask sincere questions about Joseph Smith and the book. We invited them to Church and they said they would come, ladies in their dresses and Octavio (7 year old kid) in his white shirt and tie. We arrived at church Sunday and they didnt show. Sacrament Meeting was very tough to enjoy, I have to admit. We walked up to our classroom where we normally taught our Preach My Gospel class and no members decided to join us. We sat there very disappointed. Elder Oswald just wanted to go home and call it a day. I was searching the scriptures, looking for the answer why this had happened to us after such a long week of working so hard and only finding this one golden family. We were both sitting there praying personally when all of a sudden Demetrio (the blind man) walks up the stairs, being guided by a member. They arrived for the last hour!!!! We were so happy!! They loved what they learned and they looked just like members in their dresses and white shirt and tie. Im not sure if I've every been so happy to see them, and to see them so content being there at Church. They are going to be baptized in two weeks! I know that miracles occur according to our faith and hard work. They often come in the last hour, but they do come everntually. I love the things I am learning about patience and the blessings I am seeing in the lives of the people that do accept the Gospel!! Love you all, hope you have a great week!
Elder Stutz

Monday, October 10, 2011

Que Usemos la Expiación Cada Día

Hey guys!

Hope this past week was a good one for everyone! We started last week with a crazy rainstorm that just dominated us. We were in the middle of nowhere looking for a house when all of a sudden it started pouring. We were carrying big boxes of books of mormon that we had gotten from the stake center in Cuernavca and we just could not find this house we were looking for. It was kind of a funny experience because we were walking through straight mud, soaking wet, carrying these heavy boxes and I thought to myself how great it is to be a missionary! I honestly was happy being out there in the rain!! I know I couldnt believe it when I thought it either! After maybe a half hour we found the house and had a quick Family Night with some members and a couple of their non member friends. It was definitely worth getting through the rain storm as we taught the Book of Mormon. Although some of the Books of Mormon got ruined and most of the stuff I was carrying in my backpack got soaked, we knew that we had been blessed for enduring through the storm. This principle of enduring through the storm occurs so often in our lives. When are faced with trials and when do our best to endure until we cant bear it any longer. It is in that moment that the Savior blesses us or carries us to safety and comfort. I am grateful I am learning this principle right now in the mission field. I believe we might be going through one of those storms right now as far as the work goes. We have been working really hard of late, finding new investigators, teaching, and inviting but we are going on our second week in a row without investigators in church. This challenge is making us better missionaries for sure. We had interviews with President Spannaus this past week which I really enjoyed. Our interview was very short but he exhorted me to prepare for anything the Lord would ask me to do this next change that is coming in November. That really motivated me and helped me work even harder these past couple days. We had a special fast in the branch this past Sunday for the missionary work in Tepoztlán. A few of the members bore strong testimonies on missionary work and although there were only a few people there in church, the Spirit was very strong. Right now, as missionaries here in Tepoztlán, our efforts have shifted towards helping less active members come back to church. We have been assigned home teaching companions so we can help more families get reactivated and get to the temple to be sealed as a family. I have been assigned to work with the ward mission leader and am really excited for all the families we have been assigned to. We are in for a hard working week full of teaching the words of Christ, Im really looking forward to it! I am using the Atonement of our Savior more in my life than I ever have before to overcome my weaknesses as a missionary and be able to help these people come unto Him. It is such a joy!! Hope everyone has a great week!! Cuídense mucho!
With Much Love
Elder Stutz

Monday, October 3, 2011

Siervos Vivientes del Señor

Hey Everyone!
I hope everyone enjoyed General Conference as much as I did. Wow!! Great messages all around. I love how every problem in life can be solved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I am grateful that we have the fulness of that Gospel in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Watching it in Spanish was a very fun experience. It made it hard to write fast notes but I enjoyed it because I felt like the Spirit was teaching me as I listened to the words. So I learned a lot and recieve some much needed revelation. I am so grateful there is a living prophet on the earth that is talking with God and recieving specific revelation for us in this day so that we can return back to our Father in Heaven. Of the numerous messages I enjoyed, I loved what was said (i think it might have been Hales) about why we have so much suffering in our lives and in the lives of others. It all comes back to the Plan of Happiness that our Father Heaven has for us. We are here to PROGRESS. We can rejoice when we go through trials and learn so much from them. These tough times and experiences are preparing us to return to our Father in Heaven, to return to Him being like Him. I have noticed this principle in the mission field because in all honesty, my lfe is a lot harder right now, there are a lot more trials. But I have also noticed a great change in me, in what is important to me. I am focused on things of eternal importance and I find myself so much happier than earlier times of my life. Let us endure through the tough times, looking for what we can learn and how we can rely on Heavenly Father and the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ to become more like them. The last several weeks have been humbling weeks of hard work and constant repentance. Elder Oswald and I (officially together for one more change here in Tepoztlán) have learned a lot and have desperately seeked for the Lords help in this work we are doing. Success is coming, we have faith. We had a great lesson this past week with a mom and her daughter that live alone in a small shack on the outskirts of Tepoztlán. As we were talking about the life of the Savior and what the apostles did she stopped us and said, Oh I get it, you guys are just like the apostles, bringing the Gospel to the people and inviting them to repent and be baptized!! I was really touched by that statement and it brought a lot of joy into my heart because it strengthened my testimony that we are doing the most important work on the earth right now, bringing souls to Christ. I testify, like many of the General Authorities did this past weekend, that the only thing that will provide us with peace in this life and eternal life with the Father in the next is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must follow His example in all things, by being baptized, recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end, using His Atonement everyday to become more like Him. To those who are reading this that are not baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true. That book is the reason I know we are in the right path and the reason why I am so happy declaring this Gospel. God will answer your prayer if you really want to know if it is true and if this Church really is the One True Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. I know it is true with all my heart and I dont want anyone to miss out on the blessings I have recieved and will continue to recieve. You have nothing to lose, give it a try and I testify that it will change your life for the better! Love you all so much! Hope everyone has a great week and continues to treasure up the words of the scriptures and of the living prophets!!!
Con Muchísimo Amor,
Elder Stutz

Monday, September 26, 2011

Otro Testamento de Jesucristo

Hey Guys!

Another great week in the service of the Lord! Lots of hard work, lots of testimony-building experiences. Elder Oswald and I really focused on the Book of Mormon this week. We have realized that it is the best tool we have in this work of the Lord. We have had some amazing experiences with multiple people as we have explained the book, read it with others, and witnessed others pray about its truthfulness. I have learned to love it even more here in the mission field. It is filled with answers to questions of the soul and it is the key to find out if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is really the one church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. If we have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, we know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this Church is true. We also know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us on this earth. I find myself having a really hard time putting the book down every morning when we leave the house to do the work. I love sharing it with others; whether it be on a taxi, a bus, in someones house or in the street, the book always brings the Spirit. Yesterday in our Preach My Gospel class, we talked about this wonderful book and gave every member a copy so that they could write their testimony in it and give it to a friend this week. I love the story of Lehis dream in the Book of Mormon. As I have dissected that vision, I noticed that giving someone a Book of Mormon is literally like taking them to the end of the iron rod so they can press their way forward to partake of the fruit of the tree, the most desirable. Without the Book of Mormon, we cannot get to the tree. How important it is that we share the Book of Mormon with our friends. With a testimony of the Book of Mormon, we also know that there are living apostles and a living prophet on the earth today. I am so excited to hear from these servants of the Lord this weekend!! It will be interesting this time around watching it in Spanish, but im confident it will bring the same Spirit and guidance for what each of us needs right now in our lives. Sorry for the lack of details in this email. We have been working hard here in Tepoztlan, especially with the members. We try to teach one member every day so that we can keep teaching throughout the day, keep the Spirit with us, and help strengthen the members here. We are still looking for somewhere else to have services because the little room we meet in is not sufficient for the number we have now in the branch. Ill have more details next week though. I know this work is the Lords work and that He is directing it because there is no way I could do this work alone. I love my Savior. Hope everyone has a fantastic week!!!!!
Mucho Amor
Elder Stutz

Monday, September 19, 2011


Hola Hola
Had a pretty crazy week this week with the Mexican Independence day and all those festivities. A whole lot of partying going on in Tepoztlan (which is normal so there was much more than usual). We had some drunk American tourists yelling at us from the restaurants USA! USA!! haha We were a little embarrased because it was the Mexican Independence Day but we thought it was pretty funny. We had a stake party in Civac to celebrate the day and they had a bunch of regional dances and food. We gave a little church tour to those investigators that came to the party so it was a good time. We met a really nice guy this week named Abraham that speaks english and he just talks our ears off. We have had a few great conversations with him and he is really interested in the Church because he has realized that the Catholic church is not the right church and he is very curious of us and why we would give up two years in the prime of our life. He is so nice and we hope to teach him here in the near future. One let down this week was that Elder Oswald had his bday!! But it was a rough day for us as all our citas dropped and it was just a really down day. I felt bad for him that it was such a let down day but at least the Sister that we ate with made 3 leches cake! Our happiness from the slow week came on Sunday. We gave talks again and Elder Oswald got all mad at me because I spoke before him and took 25 minutes, so he was only left with about 10. I apologized but told him that it literally felt like a 5 minute talk. So either i spoke incredibly slow, or I was filled with the Spirit. I think it was a mixture of the 2 haha. Afterwards, we taught our new class that we are starting up: Preach My Gospel. We have 4 members in the class with us and we are going to teach them how to share the Gospel with their friends. We are super excited for this class and we know its going to bless this branch and the Tepoztlan area. We had a great discussion this Sunday about the pre-earth life and how our spirits have already been taught everything about the Gospel. When we share the Gospel with others, they feel the Spirit. This occurs because the Holy Ghost is reminding our friends spirit things that it has already learned in the pre-earth life. Ít is an amazing concept and when we have faith in it, we are never scared to share the Gospel with others because we know that they have already learned it before and have accepted this plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven created for us. Yesterday, Elder Oswald and I also took all our notes from the special mission conference with Elder Ballard and wrote up a covenant with some goals that we are going to complete so we can baptize more. We prayed hard about this covenant and we know that if we keep these goals that we have set, the Lord is going to bless us with people that are ready to make their covenant with Him of baptism. We are very excited for this next week! Hope its a great one for all of you. Love ya, appreciate ya!!
Elder Stutz

Here are a few answers to some questions we asked to Elder Stutz...
The Mexican people tend to be shorter in stature – have you observed this and if so, do you feel really tall among the people?
Ya i have hit my head on the tops of doorframes countless times haha
Have people commented on your height? ya a few people have but not too often
How is the language? Its coming along nice and super slow haha I still have troubles sometimes understanding and speaking is still a struggle at times. Im just trying to do my best. Reading El Libro de Mormon outloud has really helped me i think.
Have you dreamed in Spanish yet? I dream about trying to speak the language if that makes sense. I always dream about being home but some things are in spanish so its pretty weird
What is the temple district of Cuernavaca –Mexico City??? Ya its mexico city. Mariana, the girl that i baptized, and Ivan are planning on getting married there in a year so if they invite we would be able to go!! But that is the only way we get to go to the temple in this mission
How are your clothes holding up? Pretty well, they don't get too clean cause we have to wash them ourselves now. Are your white shirts still nice and white? more or less haha
Are you still sleeping well at night? i never wake up in the middle of the night cause im always so dead tired haha Does it cool off enough at night for you to sleep? ya it cools off well in tepoz, and its pretty cold in the mornings
Are you wearing mosquito repellent all the time? i havent used any haha apparently it doesnt work that well and i only get bit in the middle of the night and i dont want my bed smelling like the repellant
Do you ever get the Ensign or Liahona magazines? ya we get liahona in engligh and spanish. the last one we got was all about marriage. I have to admit, Elder Oswald and I were loving reading and studying about it haha Do you get material from the church to give to investigators? Ya we have all the pamphlets and books of mormon, and we can buy dvds for fairly cheap to give to investigators

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mi Yugo es Fácil y Ligera Mi Carga (My yoke is easy and my burden is light)

Hey Everyone!
Hope everyone had a fun week! We sure had a special one! I will start with what we did throughout the week to get references from members. We decided to buy a pineapple and go to the members houses to play the Piña game! In this game, we ask the member a doctrinal question. If they get it right, they win the piña. If they get it wrong they have to take us to 3 of their friends houses so we can set up a family home evening with them and the member. This past week we had a lot of success with this game! It gets the members loosened up a little bit because they think its hilarious that we carry around a piña all day. Then the member has a smile on their face and they are completely willingly to take us to their friends, its perfect!! We are planning on using it this next week everytime we eat with a member and throughout the day when we pass by members houses. We met a great investigator this week who is loving the Book of Mormon and has already recieved answers about its truthfulness through prayer. Her name is Paula and she has such a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and the Bible. She just recently got baptized in a Christian church but she has found out that ours is the only true one on earth through sincere prayer. We have had some of our most spiritual lessons with her because her prayers are so sincere and meaningful and we have been guided by the Spirit in the lessons to answer her doubts through Bible and Book of Mormon passages. Now the reason this week was so special is because we recieved a special visit from a member of the Quorum of the 12 apostles to our mission. Elder Ballard came to Civac for a special stake conference on Saturday and Sunday so we had a mission conference with him as well Saturday morning. It was a life changing conference for me. My favorite part was his testimony of the Savior. He talked about how he is over 80 years old now but still has to travel the world in order to do the Lords missionary work. He says he often gets tired and weary physically and emotionally. He said that when this occurs, he looks at a picture of the Savior and takes himself back to Calvary and Golgatha to think about the Atonement of the Savior. He said everytime he does that, he feels 100% again and can continue on with the work. I know he is a special witness of our Savior Jesus Christ. What a privilege to hear from him and also from Elder Jay Jensen. We had 7 investigators that came to the conference on Sunday to hear from this apostle. Unfortunately there wasn't room in the overflows or in the chapel when we got there as a branch. So we sat in the hall, trying to listen the best we could. I will admit, I was pretty disappointed that this happened when we had 7 investigators come so far to hear from this apostle. But after the meeting, Elder Ballard shoke the hands of some of our investigators and that made the day pretty special. I just want everyone to know that I am very happy right now in the mission field! I know that when we obey the commandments of the Lord, we are happy. Sure, we have a ton of trials out here in the mission field and sometimes we wonder if we can overcome them. But we can always rely on the Lord in all we do and He will lighten our burdens and make up the rest. I am grateful for my Savior and His Atonement. I love Him, and we are becoming great friends here in Mexico as my companion, Him, and I work together to bring salvation to the people here in Tepoztlán. I love this work and want to thank everyone for their love, support, and example. Have a tremendous week!
Elder Stutz

Thursday, September 8, 2011

La Lluvia Mágica (Magical Rain)

Hey Guys!
What a crazy week!! I'll start by saying that it rained non-stop last week day and night. It definitely slowed down the work a little bit but it brought a lot of fun adventures. The other night my companion got super sick and he has a wicked infection in his stomach. He is feeling better now but it was an ugly experience those couple days. We were able to have an absolutely wonderful baptismal service of Lalo and Valentin. Lalo is the old man that finally was able to give up smoking after almost a year of trying in order to be baptized. And Valentin is the twenty year old that is a total stud when it comes to his testimony of the Gospel, after just a few weeks of experience. On Sunday we had a lesson with him and he told us he wants to serve a mission in a year and get married in the temple. The Spirit was so strong. Also we had the confirmations in church on Sunday. Although there were only about 25 people there, the Spririt was so strong and I could tell that the ward trusts us now and is more excited to share the Gospel with their friends. So my companion and I are going to try some crazy ideas to get references and meet the friends of the members this week. I will let you know how it goes in the next email. One thing that my companion and I are loving every week is doing Family Nights with the members and the investigators. We always start by doing a few magic tricks which gets them real excited and then we teach them how to play spoons! Every family has loved playing it and we have had a lot of fun as well with them. We have built up a lot of trust with these families because they can see that we are normal people as well. After the game we use a parable to share a message and bring the Spirit into their home. Just to briefly share, the parable is that sometimes we focus too much of our attention on our "cards" and not enough attention on the spoons. The real way to win the game is by grabbing the spoon, not by having the right cards. The cards in this example are the things of the world. work, school, chores, music, sports, all good things. But what really matters in the eternal perspective is our salvation. We can have better priorities such as reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church in order to build our own testimony of Jesus Chirst. We learn that we are saved through Him and that following His teachings make us happy in this life and gives us eternal happiness in the life to come. Let us focus more of our time on things that matter most, I promise you will be more happy for it! I hope everyone is well and happy. Share the Gospel!!! It will bring you the greatest joy! Love you all!
Elder Stutz

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vale La Pena

Hey Everyone!
Another great week here in Tepoztlán! Last monday we had a pretty crazy rain storm heading back to Tepoztlan from Cuernavaca. It took us a few hours to get back and the taxi driver was ticked that he had to drive all the way here in the storm. The whole city was pretty flooded and the streets are already super narrow so it took forever to get home. Once we got there we realized we had lost the house key so that was another adventure haha but everythings good now! We had a great stake conference yesterday in Civac. The branch took a bus there and back and my companion and I entertained them by singing hymns and primary songs in english. The bad news of the week is that we werent able to go to the wedding of Ivan and Mariana but she did get baptized after stake conference!! We had numerous challenges leading up to it with clothes, interviews, etc. but it turned out to be a very spiritual meeting! She asked me to baptize her and it was a very humbling experience. She began to cry afterwards and I know that her baptism will bless her life, marriage, and family. We have a couple more baptisms planned for this week so we are very excited right now and we are feeling the Spirit so strong so often. The title of my email this week is a saying in Spanish that directly translates to "It's worth the pain". People use it here a lot, especially when we explain to them about reading the book of mormon and the commandments and then explaining the specific blessings or answers they can recieve from doing those things. I've thought about that phrase a lot this week as we have worked so hard and have started to see the blessings from it, including the baptism of Mariana. This principle of its worth the pain, or sacrifice, can be applied in our lives with daily scripture study and prayer, spending more time with family, etc. It also applies in the life of a missionary because I find myself focusing my thoughts and actions on others the majority of the time. And why do we do this? Because the Savior has set the example. He always thought of others, not Himself. Everything He did was for the benefit of others. And this phrase of vale la pena applies mostly to the Atonement. What Jesus Christ did for us is amazing and cant be explained in words. But I know we are different people because of the act He did that was well worth the pain. We can use this sacrifice in our lives every day as we repent, are baptized, and endure to the end with a steadfastness in Christ. It doesn't matter that we are imperfect today, it matters that we are better tomorrow. How filled with gratitude I am for my Saviors sacrifice because I have countless weaknesses, especially as a missionary. But with His help everyday I am able to do all things according to His will. This is His work and I am priviledged to be apart of it. Love you all and think of you often. Take care and have a great week!
Elder Stutz

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

El Libro de Mormon: La Manera Que Podemos Saber La Verdad

Hey everyone, hope everyone is excited for school!!!! My companion and I had quite a great week this week, I want to fill you in on some of our investigators so here goes. We are going to have the baptism of Mariana this next Sunday!! Ivan and Mariana are going to get married on Saturday in Guerrero. Elder Oswald and I get to go with them and be witnesses!! Im pretty stoked! And then her baptism the following day. We are very excited for this great weekend that will change their lives for the better! Also we met with a 20 year old guy who we met last week. He went to church and loved it the past two weeks. Before we started the lesson with him he said, ´Whats that book that you guys study, we read some of it in church, for some reason I know its true´´ It was incredible!! We were taken back but asked him to pray about it to know if it is true with us and when he did the Spirit testified to us that The Book of Mormon is true. It was quite the experience I will never forget. He is going to be baptized on September 3rd and we are going to meet the rest of his family this week because they want to know that it is true as well. We have great news about *. After over a year going to church every week and listening to the missionaries regularly, he is going to be baptized! He has worked so hard to get to this point and he is ready and very excited! I cant explain the kind of love and respect I have for him, I feel like I have felt somewhat of what God feels for him, pure love. This past week Elder Oswald and I looked for different ways we could share the Gospel with people in the street. We always contact on the buses and combis but this week we also did something different. Every day we spent an hour in the Zócalo, town square, contacting the people sitting down there. We would split up and let the Spirit guide us to those who are ready to hear the Gospel. It was a little scary at first without my companion because my Spanish still is not so hot but I had a pretty incredible experience with one of the contacts. I met a 16 year old named Christopher who was really nice and seemed pretty interested in the message. We talked about the Book of Mormon a little bit and I asked him to pray right there in the Zócalo. He did so willing and despite all the noise around us, the Spirit was so strong. When he asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church of Jesus Christ on the Earth, I recieved another witness that it is true and so did he. After sitting there silently for a few minutes with his eyes closed he said to me, ´´I know that this is true´´ A very simple phrase but one that will change his life and has impacted mine. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If anyone has doubts or questions about it or about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can go right to the source, The Book of Mormon. Anyone, in any country, rich or poor, man or woman, any race, whatever background of life can ask our Heavenly Father sincerely if the Book of Mormon is true. Every person that asks sincerely WILL recieve an answer through their feelings, or in other words, through the Holy Ghost. This is Gods work on the Earth and I am humbled to be apart of it. Share it with your friends, you nor they will ever regret it. Love you all, stay strong. Remember we can find comfort, direction, and revelation for the scriptures. Search them and you will find specific answers to problems in your life that you have right at this moment.
-Elder Stutz

Monday, August 15, 2011

Como Podemos Aumentar Nuestra Espiritualidad y Fe

Hey Guys!
Elder Oswald and I had a very uplifting week this week. It started off pretty rough with Eric telling us that he no longer wants to be baptized. This shocked us and we have had a difficult time finding him since. We know that Satan is working hard on him, especially now because he had made the committment to be baptized. And then Tuesday and Wednesday all of our appointments feel through. We were pretty down but the Lord gave us hope and inspiration in our zone conference on Thursday. President Spannaus spoke to us for a few hours about how to increase our spirituality and faith I would like to share with all of you briefly the seven things that are key in this regard: 1. Obedience 2. Prayer 3. Reading the Scriptures 4. Fasting 5. Pondering 6. Service 7. Charity (Pure love of Christ)
With these seven things we can progress everyday and become more like Christ. After this conference, Elder Oswald and I were filled with new faith and worked even harder to finish the week. I would like to tell you about one investigator today who we began teaching last week. Her name is Mariana and she is 15 years old. She is dating a young man in the branch who is just starting to become active again. Mariana has wanted to be baptized for a few years but her parents will not allow it. I do not want to go into detail but I will say that these two are going through a really hard time right now together, they have a lot of trials to overcome. But they have the maturity of experienced adults and they are enduring through their trials with great faith. On Saturday, Mariana asked me to give her a blessing, it would be my first one in Spanish. The Lord blessed me with the gift of tongues to give Mariana a blessing from her Heavenly Father. It was a humbling experience which stregthened my testimony of the love Heavenly Father has for all of His children, individually. Last night, we had a Fireside for our stake with President Spannaus. So we were exteremely lucky to hear from him again and Lalo actually came with us! It was amazing to hear Presidents talk and how it related exactly to Lalos situation. After that expreience we have faith that Lalo will finally be baptized. He has a lot to overcome still but the Lord will help him through our support and his faith. We are also working with a few investigators that could be baptized by the end of the month. I wish I had more time to talk about them but we have to get going to Cuernavaca!! I will certainly have updates next week. Have a great week everyone! Love you all! Dont get too excited for school to start up again!

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Stutz

Monday, August 8, 2011

Un Milagro Cada Día (A miracle every day)

Hey Guys!
We had another great week in Tepoztlan! I can't believe it has already been a month since I arrived. The spanish is coming along slowly but surely. I can speak it pretty well but my challenge is understanding the natives sometimes. But it improves everyday. One funny thing that happened yesterday was that the Secretary of our branch came up to me and asked if I was related to John Tanner. I was confused how he could know this and asked how he knew. He said he had just watched the movie of him and saw that my first name is Tanner on the Record of Sayuris baptism. It was quite the coincidence but way awesome.
We climbed Tepozteco this morning! It is the pyramid in our area and our whole zone came and hiked it with us. Wow it was so beautiful and amazing to look out over our area and think of all the people out there that need the Gospel. Our zone and district leaders are so great and we have set some very high goals for this month. They are really inspiring us to do the great things that the Lord expects us to do. In the past, this zone has really struggled. But things are picking up and baptisms are ocurring in every area. We are working hard right now and we do so because we want to baptize because we love the Lord!
I had the opportunity to go with Elder Cevallos on exchanges in San Andres this week. He is from Ecuador and knows zero English because he also just got here. It was tough to communicate with him but we made it work and are good friends now. We spent most of our day however running around his area figuring out how we were going to fill the font for Sayuris baptism. We started by transfering water with buckets from underground near the church. We did this most the day and then finally someone came to fix the pump so everything ended up working out. We had a great baptismal service for Sayuri Sandoval. She was baptized on Friday in San Andres (because they have a baptismal font). She asked me to baptize her which shocked me a little because I hadn't talked too much in our lessons. I was excited though and it was a very spiritual experience to baptize her a see the joy and blessings that she has recieved from her baptism and from the Holy Ghost that she recieved yesterday in Church. The best part about this baptism is that her non member father now wants to baptized. The reason he wants to is because of a very spiritual experience we had with him after the baptism. On Saturday we were talking with him about baptism and he was joking that after meeting with the missionaries for 20 years he thinks he can wait longer to get baptized. We were laughing with him but also trying to help him see the need to be baptized now. We finally decided that the only thing we could do was pray about a specific day. So we prayed about the 13th of August and as he prayed the Spirit struck me very strong. After the prayer we sat there for a few minutes in silence. Finally Erik said I feel something very powerful in my heart, what is that? We gladly answered him that it was the Holy Ghost bearing a witness to him that he needs to be baptized on that day. So we have another baptism this week! We are so excited for him and for all the other people that we are currently helping come unto Christ. It is a joy to do this work and to see so many blessings and miracles each day. Look for the miracles! Much love,
Elder Stutz

Monday, August 1, 2011

Elder Stutz in Tepoztlan, Mexico

If I didn't know better, I would think Tanner is enjoying a relaxing vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Instead, he is working hard and doing his favorite thing, sharing the gospel in one of the most beautiful places in the world!!!!

It is nice to see him doing his own cooking!

Compartiendo el Evangelio por los Tacos

Hey Guys!!
Hope everyone had a great week like I did! It went by very fast though. We will start with the story of my getting bit by a dog. I got bit by a dog!!! I know this sounds like it will be a great story but the truth is we were walking up a hill and I felt a pinch on my ankle. This little puppy had a hold of my foot and I kicked him off. My companion was jealous that I can now say that a dog bit me but that there was no pain involved. There are a ton of stray dogs here so we always have to be a little careful when walking the streets. But I guess we need to keep a close eye on those puppies. Elder Oswald and I had a tough week this week with so many appointments falling through. We walked lot, especially because we went to some of the little towns outside of Tepoztlan that are in our area. We worked hard with little success. But our blessings came on Sunday when we had several investigators show up at church. Almost half the congregation were not members! haha And we also committed a 15 year old girl named Sayuri to be baptized this week! Her mom and brother are inactive members of the branch. She had definitely been prepared by the Lord because we only taught her a few times and she was ready. She is getting baptized this Friday and will be confirmed in church on Sunday. Elder Oswald and I are ecstatic! We have a great week lined up not only with her, but we are teaching several individuals and families that are ready to hear the Good News! We have a great week and month ahead of us, if we continue to work hard. I have been studying a lot about charity recently. Charity is definitely one of the most important qualities that a missionary needs to always be developing. Charity is a higher, deeper, and stronger love than any other. Charity is thinking about others and putting yourself and your needs aside. I am trying to develop this Christ-like attribute everyday as I try to talk to everyone about the Gospel. I think a good measure of charity is if we are anxiously engaged in missionary or temple work because it shows that we desire the salvation of others, just like the sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. Alright I will end with a story now which was one of our many miracles of the week. At district meeting last week, the zone leaders went around and prayed with each companionship of the zone and for their specific investigators. Elder Zozoya prayed with us and said in his prayer that we would find someone to share the Gospel with through someone buying us a taco. When we returned to Tepoztlan late that night, my companion and I decided to exercise our faith in our zone leader and his prayer and go to the Taqueria. We did so and ordered a few tacos (spent all of our money). We then waited there for our miracle. After refusing to buy more tacos or leave the Taqueria because they wanted to close (for about an hour), the owner brought out a few tacos and said that they were on the house. We found out this man is the brother of the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency. He doesnt like the Church at all but agreed to set a time to meet with us. We are meeting with him this week so we will see how it goes. Elder Oswald and I have set a goal to write down a milagro (miracle) every night when we write in our journals that happened that day. I encourage everyone to do this because it has surprised me how much I can learn and still be happy after a day of exhaustion and little success. There are miracles everywhere if we look for them. I know this Gospel is true and I am witnessing It change lives everyday, what a blessing! Love and miss you all so much! Recognize, record, and remember the miracles!!!
Con Amor,
-Elder Stutz
The following are answers to questions Mark asked in his last email....


- What is your most favorite main dish? I love the meat called Cecina in my tacos, we have had it a few times at members houses

- What is your most favorite snack? Emperadores, a big pack of chocolate cookies that we sometimes eat for breakfast haha

- What is your most favorite candy? Havent really had any candy yet, I had delicious caramel tasting thing the other day that apparently comes from a goat, no sé

- Do you find many of the same foods there as you would at home? I think the only things I have eaten or drinken that I had had before was Coke haha

- What do you usually eat for breakfast? Pan dulce (sweet bread) or Emperadores haha

- What do you usually eat for lunch? We only eat one meal a day and its usually with a member so ive learned to really skarf it down at that meal so im not hungry later

- What do you usually eat for dinner? no dinner, see above. We usually eat that meal around 3

- Have you eaten any bizarre foods yet? Not really, Tepoztlan is pretty clean so we havent had anything too crazy. We have had chicharon a few times which is basically just pig skin

- What about drinking??? Do you drink bottled water? Sodas? Special fruit drinks? Usually different juice drinks cause they are way good here, occassionally soda at members houses


- Do you have a cell phone? Yes but we cant use it for the members, only to our zone and district leaders

- Do you have a home phone? No

- How do you communicate to your district or zone leaders? Cell phone

- How do you communicate with the ward members and investigators? At first, we tried the public phones but they are horrible and just take our money so we usually have to walk to their house if we want to talk.