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