Monday, August 29, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
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!
Monday, August 8, 2011
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,
Monday, August 1, 2011
It is nice to see him doing his own cooking!
The following are answers to questions Mark asked in his last email....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
- 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.