Monday, July 25, 2011

Messages for Elder Stutz

To all of Tanners friends and family. Please feel free to post messages to his blog and I will pass them along to him in our next email. He will not receive mail very often and I know he would love a little message here and there.

Thanks for your love and support!!!! .....and keep writing him!!!!!

El Poder del Sacerdocio

Hey everyone!
What a great week, very quick but great! Elder Oswald and I are beginning to settle in and the work is starting to progress. We will start with a funny story. This morning Elder Oswald and I were booking it to the bus stop to get to Cuernavaca on time for our zone meetings and activities and we were about to cross the street after a huge bus passed. Elder Oswald over estimated the speed of the bus and ran right into the side of it. Luckily I was behind him so I got to witness it, muy chistoso. Yesterday, the whole mission participated in a fast to invoke the powers of heaven to assist us in finding those who are ready for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our mission. Getting to know the members here has been crucial. We decided to have family home evenings every night last week and have the members invite their friends so we could share the Gospel with them. This brought much success because we were able to get to know the members better and find people that are searching for the truth. We are excited to work with some of these new investigators this week. The branch here has a lot of part member families because a lot of youth get baptized but their parents do not. So Elder Oswald and I are working with many part member families so that they can be baptized and sealed together as a family for time and all eternity in the temple. Elder Oswald and I were suprisingly called on yesterday to give the talks in sacrament meeting. I was pretty scared at first but a quick prayer in my heart brought the comfort I needed and I was able to give a 20 minute talk on the Holy Ghost in spanish. It was definitely a miracle because my spanish is usually pretty slow and sub par. But this opportunity to speak helped the members trust us more and see that we are very passionate about our calling there in Tepoztlan. My confidence in spanish and in talking about the Gospel to complete strangers is increasing everyday. My favorite kind of contacting is while driving in taxis in Cuernavaca. Last week we took a few taxis and I was able to talk to every driver about the Gospel, bear my testimony, and get their addresses for the elders in Cuernavaca. It is amazing to see the Spirit work with us as we are honestly looking to find those who are ready for the Gospel. The title of my email this week comes from a some what scary experience Elder Oswald had. He got bite by an alucran, a yellow scorpian, at a members home. He felt the poison rush through his arm as it went numb. He asked me to give him a priesthood blessing and afterwards he slept great and the next day he felt better than ever. I know this miracle occured because of the reality of the priesthood authority that we hold and the faith that Elder Oswald had in me and in our Savior Jesus Christ. Miracles have not ceased in these days. They WILL occur when we demonstrate faith and show our Heavenly Father that we are willing to do anything to know the truth or bring about good. Dont have much time left, will have updates on our investigators next week. I am well and loving dedicating my life right now to the service of our Heavenly Father. Hope everyone is well, enjoy the last few weeks of summer!!!!
-Elder Stutz

Monday, July 18, 2011

La Primera Semana

Buenas Tardes!
Greetings from Tepoztlan, Mexico! Im just sitting in a little Internet shack writing my first Mexican Email! Que Chido!! What a beautiful place to start the mission! Our travels last week went very well. It was a tiring set of events so it is nice to finally be settled in an area and doing the Lord's work. My companion is Elder Oswald, from Idaho Falls, Idaho who has been out just a few months longer than I have. We were given the assignment to open the area of Tepoztlan after it had been closed the last few months. Elder Oswald is a great missionary and a great example. We are already good friends and getting to work. We share similar interests in music and sports so we are getting to know eachother pretty well. Tepoztlan is so beautiful! We are in the mountains so it is a bit cooler and its the rainy season here so we get rain every night. The city is very tranquil and quiet and the people are as nice as can be. I already love the culture! The food is nice and spicy but I am already learning to love it! Elder Oswald and I had a lot of work to do this past week with reopening this area. We didn't know anyone and in my case, I didn't know any spanish. But we made due with what we had and we met a lot of the members and developed good friendships with them already. Our area just has a really small branch and the area is very big. We meet in a little room in a "Casa de Oracion" for sacrament meeting. The leaders here are great and ready to help us share the Gospel with the people that the Lord has prepared here. We found some of the older investigators and also some new ones in our first few days. We are teaching an older man, Lalo, that has been coming to church for the past year and loves everything about it. Lalo just needs to overcome his addiction with smoking so we are helping and working with him in that regard. We have also begun teaching a 15 year old girl who has friends in the branch and also an older lady who has neighbors in the branch. The best way to do misionary work is through the members!!! We can all help and partake in the Lord's work by simply inviting friends to activities, church, or to listen to the missionaries. I have had a couple crazy things happen this week, not crazy for a mission but crazy for someone who just arrived in the mission field. One night Elder Oswald and I were visiting families pretty far away from our apartment and it started to rain very hard. We ran home in the rain and we were completely drenched. I'm sure I will have plenty more of those experiences to come. A few days ago we were walking down the street next to some construction and the cement machine sprayed cement all over me and my white shirt. It gave my companion a good laugh. Things are great here though, I already love the mission field. We are in store for a great week this week now that we actually know some people and more or less know how to get around. Spanish is an obstacle I am trying to overcome right now with understanding the accent, speed, and trying to express my feelings and ideas but it will come with time and prayer. Luckily as missions we are blessed with the Spirit to help us when we are struggling with the languge. I know that the work we are doing here is our Heavenly Father's work and that the people here in Tepoztlan are ready to hear it. I will continue to share stories every week and provide a brief update of our investigators. I found out that I will get letters and DearElders about once every 3 months so sorry if I take awhile to respond. Hope everyone is doing well, love you all!
-Elder Stutz

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Elder Stutz arrived in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Elder Stutz has arrived in Cuernavaca, Mexico. We can't wait to hear all about it. His mission president was kind enough to send these pictures letting us know he had arrived safely.

More photos from the MTC

Elder Stutz enjoyed being in the MTC with many of the guys in his BYU ward. We are extremely happy he was able to spend a little time with Elder Holmes!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Estamos Listos por el Campo Misional

Hola a Todos,
Hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July this past week and that everyone is in good health. Our last few days here at the MTC have been very productive. Yesterday, Elder Chris Smith and I had the opportunity to host Elder Jordan Maguet into the MTC and catch up with him a little bit. He couldn't stop smiling the whole time and he is definitely anxious to serve the Lord. A quick spanish update: I can read and comprehend basically everything and I can speak it alright, but when it comes to understand natives I struggle for sure. I am excited to get to Mexico though so I can be fully immersed and learn even faster. It will definitely come with time, prayer, and patience. We enjoyed a special fireside this week to celebrate our Independence Day. We had guest speakers talk about sacrifices some many soldiers and citizens have made to preserve our liberty here in the USA. I am so grateful for those who have sacrificed so much and I know that because of their sacrifices, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was able to come forth during a time of religious freedom here in this country. Now, the Gospel is spread throughout the whole world and It will continue to go forth by the means of It's members and young men that want others to partake of the joy of following Jesus Christ. After the devotional, we were allowed to watch the fireworks show from our campus that was at the BYU football stadium. It was weird to think that I would miss this holiday for the next two years. We also enjoyed a fireside on Sunday, performed by Jenny Oaks Baker, the daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks. She is an amazing violinist and she played many inspiring songs for us and shared with us her testimony. She also brought her 3 young daughters to perform for all of us (thousands of missionaries), the littlest playing a cello that was bigger than her and they did an incredible job. Not much else is going on now, we have a class or two left and then we leave on Monday morning. I am so excited to get into the mission field and share the message of this Gospel with the people of Cuernavaca. I already love the people, I just can't wait to meet them! The MTC will always be close to my heart though. I have learned so much here, not just Spanish or the lessons that we will be teaching people, but who I am and how this Gospel is for everyone. We are all children of a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He sent His son, even Jesus Christ, to suffer for us so that He might know how we feel when we go through times of trial. If anyone is going through hard times, like I have numerous times in my life, prayer is a great way to find comfort and answers. Our Father in Heaven is waiting for us to reach out to Him and seek help in our challenges here on earth. I testify that the work we are doing here and the work we will be doing in Mexico is the Lord's work. I can't wait to see how the Gospel blesses the lives of the Mexican people because It has blessed mine so much. I hope all is well, I love and miss you all so much!
-Elder Stutz