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