Monday, December 31, 2012

Un Banquete del Libro de Mormón

Happy New year everybody!
We enjoyed a great Christmas week.  We spent Christmas eve hanging out with the Cuernavaca and Civac zones.  It was our pday so we were able to play bball in the morning, mafia with cuernavaca, and then Elder Nah made us a super delicious dinner with the Civac zone.  We also broke a piñata that the sisters made.  After all that, the bishops wife made us dinner to take to the house.  We ate it on the roof with Elder Smith and Elder Porter.  The partying continued the next morning when we went to the offices to open presents.  We did a gift exchange withe the secretaries and everyone also bought presents for their companions.  After opening presents, we went to President and Sister Kusch´s house to eat,  They made us an amazing meal with ham, sweet potatoes, funeral potatoes, cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, etc.  I realized after that meal that I miss american food like that A LOT!  So we probably partied a little too hard because everyone in the offices got sick with colds, flu, stomach viruses, etc.  It was a rough week health wise.  Elder Azueta and I were busy with several trips to the airport in Mexico City.  We enjoy traveling but it usually wipes all the energy out of me.  Elder Quinnelly called me this week with some worries about the area in Chilpo.  We talked a little and he told me that a member of the ward who was the ex-bishop, told him that when Elder Quinnelly and I were there that he would get mad at the current bishop for not taking advantage of having the best two elders that the ward had ever had.  I felt good that someone did notice the hard work we did on a daily basis but it is sad at times when we as missionaries dont receive the support we could use to have more success in the work of the Lord.  In the mission, we are trying to help the missionaries earn the confidence of the local leaders and the members so that together we can bring about this work.  This past week I received a little bit of revelation for my life right now and also for the future.  It is nothing new that I havent been taught before but I gained a stronger testimony about it.  The last few weeks I have had days when I just feel like I dont have energy or that I feel more tempted, etc.  As assistants, we occassionally have days when we are traveling the whole day or fulfilling assignments from president all day.  On those days, we dont have our regular hours of study that all missionaries always receive.  After reading some notes from the mission and praying a lot, I realized that my happiness, charity, and even physical energy had gone down due to a lack of reading the Book of Mormon on a daily basis.  In past emails, I have talked a lot about having a sacred grove every morning when we can pour out our souls to our Father in Heaven and feel of His spirit to start every day.  Apart from that great habit, I have come to know that we must feast upon the Book of Mormon everyday.  The Book of Mormon is a source of energy, happiness and love.  We can receive answers to current day problems in that testament of Jesus Christ.  I know the Book of Mormon is essential to our happiness.  It is an evidence we have of the truthfulness of this one and only church of our Savior.  This week, we are starting a new year.  Along with a self-invitation, I would like to make an invitation to each one of you.  I invite us all to have a ¨Book of Mormon Banquet¨ or a ¨Book of Mormon Buffet¨ (whichever you prefer) every single day.  I recognize that there are many great books out there that we can read, including the Bible.  It is great that we read those books, but in addition, we must enjoy the words from the Book of Mormon everyday!  Even if it is just 15 minutes, we will feel more energy, more love, and more happiness in our DAILY lives by creating and maintaining this habit.  And remember, when we think of banquets and buffets, we dont think of taking a few bites and then leaving the restaurant.  We think of all types of food from different parts of the world in front of us on several different plates!!!  I dont know about you guys, but I LOVE buffets.  And every time I go, I try to eat as much as I can!  May we have the same  feelings as we study the Book of Mormon this year.  To those who have not read the Book of Mormon completely through, read it completely through this year!!!  You wont regret it!  To those who have already read it, continue to study it and apply it to your life.  You will find answers and you will find peace.  This will be a great year if we all develop and maintain this great habit of receiving personal revelation through the words of Christ Himself.  I will wait for your letters containing experiences you will have with the Book of Mormon this year.  Love you all!!!!!
Elder Stutz              

Thursday, December 27, 2012

La Navidad: El Inicio de Mi Salvación

Feliz Navidad!!

I have never been so busy during the Christmas season.  This past week, President Kusch, sister Kusch, Elder Azueta, and I went to all the zones in the mission to have Christmas conferences.  In the conferences, we saw skits from each district, a white elephant gift exchange, a slideshow of all the service projects in the mission, messages from President and sister Kusch, and dinner.  We enjoyed traveling around the mission, getting to know many different places.  We saw a bunch of super funny skits and mostly, we enjoyed being with the missionaries and celebrating the true spirit of Christmas with them.  I had the chance to go to Chilpancingo again.  It felt great to go back.  We actually got the opportunity to visit a little with a convert named Margarita.  She just found out she has cancer but her faith is as strong as ever.  She told us that the Lord has blessed her with the faith and testimony that she needs to overcome this trial that she has accepted so that she can grow and be stronger.  We also went to the stake musical program that the missionaries helped a lot with.  A couple elders (including my ex-comp Elder Pearson) organized an amazing program.  The music was amazing and everyone that went loved it.  They were able to do the same program in half of the stakes in the mission to help with the relationships between the members and the missionaries.  President had us talk to a few companionships during the conferences to help them out.  Elder Azueta and I loved talking with these elders and helping them apply the principles they teach everyday as missionaries.  We felt completely guided by the Spirit in those talks to ask the right questions and give the right advice.  These experiences have helped me come to know my Savior better.  One Sunday, during the sacrament, the bishop asked us to speak because the speakers didnt show up.  I felt impressed to speak a little about the reality of the Atonement because it is something that I have had to apply a lot more often the last month.  Feeling so tired and, at times, sick, I have had to trust in the Lord more than ever because there is no time for physical rest.  What I have discovered is that the Lord does not give us a physical rest from working in His vineyard.  But He does provide small spiritual breaks when He comforts our hearts and speaks peace to our souls.  I have needed those feeling of comfort and peace now more than ever and I am so grateful for the hope the abides when we live righteously.  I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.  I hope all of us can identify a gift that we can give to Christ this year.  I am most grateful for the Atonement and my family than I am for any other gift because the best gifts are eternal!  Love you all! 
Elder Stutz  

Venid a Cristo y Perfeccionaos en Él

Hey Everyone!
We had quite an eventful week!  Ill start with our two trips to the airport.  Unfortunately, we had to take an elder to the airport because he wasnt willing to obey.  It was really sad to witness it but it did help me value my mission even more.  I really do love being here and I am grateful to be able to be obedient because it is the better way to live for sure.  The second trip was a much happier occasion because we were able to pick up a new elder.  The best thing about this elder is that he was in this mission 3 years ago but had to go home for health issues.  But he has recovered and is willing to sacrifice two years of his life right now to serve the Lord.  He has a great attitude and will be a great addition to the mission.  The best part about going to the airport for us is definitely eating a fat and delicious Carls Jr. Memphis burger!  A quick update on our few investigators that we have.  We continue to teach Luigi in the rehab center.  He is overcoming his addiction to cigarettes and loves reading the Book of Mormon daily.  He believes that he will be able to start going to church in January so we are looking forward to that.  Also, we have a possible baptism for this week named Omar.  He is a middle aged man who lives alone because the rest of his family lives in the US.  He is excited to get baptized but is always really busy with work.  So it is just a matter of finding him home, teaching him, and prepare his baptism.  We also just started teaching a young single adult named Alejandra who is studying here in Cuernavaca.  She just randomly showed up at institute one day last week and the teacher gave us the reference.  She told us she loved it and she came to our ward activity and to church this past week.  She is really excited to learn and she already knows a lot.  We actually havent taught her yet but she volunteered to offer the closing prayer in gospel principles even though we have never taught her how to pray.  She did a great job!  Also, we are helping a family prepare to be baptized the first week of January.  It is a single mom with two kids that are 16 and 11 years old.  They have been in teaching for a few months but this Sunday they came back to church and are more interested now.  They have committed to be baptized the first week of January so we will be helping them prepare.  The ward is doing excellent, especially after our Christmas activity.  Tons of members and investigators came and we were asked to prepare a skit and a special musical number for the program.  For the special musical number, we sang O holy night, one verse in english and one verse in spanish.  The members really enjoyed it.  The skit turned out really funny actually.  We did a Grinch/Capitan America skit.  I was the grinch, a grouchy friend of a member of the church that didnt seem like he would ever accept the Gospel.  Elder Azueta and Elder Porter were the Capitan America missionaries that recieved a reference from a member who really wanted to help the grinch.  In the lesson, the member shared her testimony with me and my heart changes!  Then I get baptized along with my whole family!  It was a fun skit that made the members laugh but also ponder their personal responsibility to share the Gospel with their friends, family, and neighbors.  Yesterday, despite being a little sick to my stomach, I loved the primary program!  The kids sang great and the small and simple phrases that they shared with us at the microphone penetrated my soul and left me pondering about the simple Gospel trues that even little children can live.  The principles of the Gospel are so simple that even kids can understand them.  We, as adults, need to be more willing to obey, without excuses, just like these innocent little children.  In my new assignment, I have learned that we, as converted members of the church, must ALWAYS invite EVERYONE to come unto Christ.  I learned that principle when we did divisions with the zone leaders here in Cuernavaca this week.  I did them with an elder that I actually met at BYU before the mission, Elder Leakehe.  I prayed fervently and studied the scriptures the day before I did the divisions to know what I could share with him because he is already a great missionary.  I received some revelation in my studies and I shared those things with him.  I also asked him a few questions that I felt inspired to ask.  Throughout the conversation, he constantly told me that what I shared and asked was very inspired because it had been on his mind.  We both grew so much in that half hour that we had together talking about the mission and the Gospel.  That experience taught me that we can help ANYONE progress in the Gospel, even those that are already converted and are on the right path.  I love helping the elders progress spiritually and have better relationships with their Heavenly Father and with their Savior.  I think that is why I am loving this calling so much, even though we are constantly super tired.  This week I would like to invite everyone to examine their lives and identify the people they can help so that they can be closer to Christ and have more happiness in their lives.  After identifying the person, seek revelation through prayer and scripture study.  I promise that you will be guided and that the person you reach out to will repent and get better.  I testify that repentance is for EVERYONE, EVERYDAY.  I love all you guys!!!!
Elder Stutz        

Monday, December 10, 2012

El Poder del Testimonio

Hey guys!
Today we are writing from the furthest zone away from Cuernavaca, Lásero Cárdenas (on the coast).  We are doing divisions with the zone leaders today here because they are both new to the position and to the area.  Elder Azueta and I traveled from 10PM last night till 10AM this morning in a bus to arrive and we will make the same trip tonight to head back and help President with some more special changes in the mission tomorrow.  Elder Azueta and I are very busy and tired a lot but to be able to keep going everyday, we have started to play basketball bright and early in the morning.  We do drills and have a lot of fun.  So im trying to get back into bastekball shape again!  Last saturday, we had an interesting experience.  After playing bball, we went to the secretaries house at 7AM to help them move.  When we opened the door to their house, we were surprised to find about 6 inches of water in the whole house.  They didnt know how it happened but we had to get all the water out and all their belongings out in 2 hours.  We used buckets, cups, and a dustpan and got everything out just in time for them to move into their new apartment.  It was a prettty fun experience, throwing water at each other and moving houses with soaking wet shoes and socks.  At the beginning of the week, we spent all our time preparing for the mission council with the zone leaders.  The council turned out excellent!  President talked about a lot of great things and we had a couple hours to be able to ask the zone leaders inspired questions so that they could determine what they need to do in their zones to have better results and more converted missionaries.  I felt the Spirit really strong as we helped these zone leaders realize their potential and the potential of the elders in their zones.  I know most of them really well and during the council, I could see and feel a lot of big changes in all of them.  In their time in the mission, they have become more converted to the Lord.  We asked the zone leaders to write Christmas cards to President and Sister Kusch, explaining to them what they are going to do differently as missionaries so that the mission has more success.  This was our gift to president and when we gave them the cards at the end of the council, they both began to cry and expressed their love for us.  They truly are amazing people.  Sister Kusch calls Elder Azueta and I her Mexican children because she loves spoiling us with brownies and ice cream everytime we go to the house to help her husband.  They have become two great friends of mine.  On Friday, we did our zone service project in a rest home.  We cleaned the place up a little by mopping, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, washing the windows, and washing the sheets.  We also had the chance to sit down with the elderly to talk with them about their experiences.  It was funny to talk to some of them because they either dont have good memories, or they have mental issues and have basically gone crazy.  I loved it though because we were able to make little autobiographies for the elderly there which included a memory from their lives and a picture of us and them.  I made one for a guy named Belecio and he talked my ear right off.  He couldnt remember most things from his life, being 89 years old, but he did love having my company.  We finished the service by singing them Christmas songs.  It was really touching being able to see the joy in their faces while we were there.  In our area, we have only had time to teach one family.  This family was a reference of a recent convert in the ward.  It is a family of a mom and her two daughters that are 21 and 11.  The two lessons we have had with this family have been so powerful.  They want to change because they want to have a more united family.  A member came with us to our last appointment and as he testified of the blessings of the Gospel, he began to cry which made the family cry which made us really happy because we knew they were feeling the Spirit.  In that moment we committed them to be baptized on December 29th.  They came to church yesterday and loved it so much.  We already feel like their best friends.  Unfortunately, yesterday we found out that they live just outside of the boundaries of the ward, so we will not be able to continue to teach them.  I was sad because this family is one of the most special that I have ever taught, but I know that they will still get baptized and receive all the blessings that they are willingly to recieve through sacrifice.  I had the opportunity to speak yesterday in church and I talked about that experience with this family and the member who bore his testimony.  I talked about the difference between a missionary and a member bearing testimony in a lesson.  It is always better when a member does it because it is more sincere and convincing to the investigators.  As members of the church, we must always have our testimony ready to share with anyone at any moment.  The scriptures teach us that through our testimonies, we can rescue those that are lost (Alma 4:19?).  I invite all of us to think about and identify opportunities that we can take advantage of to share our testimony more often and with more people.  I know that our testimonies can change the hearts of those around us because I have seen it happen.  When we think someone in our lives will never change, we can always rely on our testimony to help their hearts soften.  I love this work and I hope to be able to help the elders around me become more converted to the Lord through the testimony I have.  Love you all!!!!  
Elder Stutz  

El Servicio Amoroso

hey guys!
I had a very crazy week that flew by very fast.  So last Monday, I found out that the Arroyo Quezada family was going to go to the temple to get sealed on saturday (Yemir and her family).  They invited Elder Pearson and I to go with them and we were super excited to go.  I called President Kusch to get permission.  He told me he would love for me to go but that he needed me in Cuernavaca for some meetings.  He then went on to tell me that the Lord wants me to serve as assistant to President Kusch.  I felt a little sad that I wasnt going to be able to attend the sealing but I was excited for the new assignment.  It was difficult to say bye to everyone in Chilpancingo.  I got to be great friends with the members and converts after being there so long.  There were tears shed and I took pictures with the ones I did have the opportunity to say goodbye to.  I then left to Cuernavaca on wednesday to begin to learn my responsibilities.  Elder Forrest is the assistant that left and he trained me all week.  He was in my BYU leadership class and we met in the MTC so we were already great friends.  I am now with Elder Azueta who has just a month being assistant.  He is from Mérida, Yucatán, México.  He has about 15 months in the mission and we are already great friends.  He is super funny and cool!  We were busy all week planning the changes.  We are in charge of transporting all 190 missionaries in the mission so we lost some sleep and were super busy.  I was sick with a cold all week so I am glad I got through it haha.  I am getting to know Excel better as it helps us plan and be better organized.  The best part of last week was Thanksgiving.  President and Sister Kusch invited us to eat dinner with them.  We went with the 4 secretary missionaries from the offices and we ate an american thanksgiving dinner in the mission home.  I felt like I was in my house for the first time on the mission haha.  After the dinner, President and sister Kusch, by our surprise, invited us to watch the Cowboys vs. Redskins game.  It was real fun, we had a blast!  As assistants, we do have a ward that we work in, the Palmas ward.  We dont get to work much but when we get a chance we teach a quick lesson.  We use most of our time helping president with whatever he needs.  We live in an apartment with two of the secretaries so the apartment is a little bit bigger.  The mission home and the mission offices are about 10 minutes walking distance from eachother, so thats convenient.  We do drive a toyota corolla that is super nice.  I am not allowed to drive it until next week so that should be fun.  I am super excited because in the coming months we have a ton of activities for the mission.  In December, we are traveling to all the zones to have Christmas conferences and in January we have zone conferences.  So Elder Azueta and I will be on the road a lot and we will be mainly focused on the missionaries.  It is weird to go through a full day and not teach a single lesson.  It is also weird to realize that all of your thoughts are revolved around the missionaries and not at all on investigators.  I will have to get used to it but I do love serving and helping out the missionaries.  One nice thijng is that I know that I will finish my mission here so there is comfort in knowing the fate of the next 6 months.  I did get the opportunity to talk with Elder Oswald last night because he goes home this week.  It was awesome to catch up with him and we are stoked to hang out at BYU after the mission.  Today we have the opportunity to go to the airport to pick up all the new missionaries coming from the MTC in Provo.  I am excited to help them start to love the mission a ton.  Even though I have been sick and I havent slept much, I am feeling great!!  I am loving the work and I hope to serve President and the Lord the best way I can.  I taught one lesson this Sunday in a rehab center.  We recieved a reference from a family of recent converts from the state of Mexico of a son that is in this rehab center.  He came out and surprised us by his great manners and relaxed appearance.  He is just a regular 20 year old that got caught up with the wrong friends.  But he is doing really well.  He has already read up to Alma in the Book of Mormon and wants to get baptized even though he hasnt gone to church.  We wanted to put him with a baptismal date but we were not sure when he could because he is in the rehab center.  Elder Forrest must have felt inspired because he challenged him to be baptized on March 22nd of next year.  The young man said yes with a smile on his face and told us that his scheduled date to leave the center is March 21st!!!!  I love seeing miracles like this in the mission.  Love you all!!!!      
Elder Stutz    

Debéis Volveros Como un Niño Pequeño

Hey Guys
We had a pretty excellent week this past week.  We started it with our zone bbq on monday in our house.  Everyone brought food so we ate well and had a few hours of great bonding time.  I got to know quite a few of the elders better and we really enjoyed ourselves.  On Tuesday, I did dvisions with Elder Cantú in Chilapa, a small village about 2 hours from Chilpo.  We focused on taking initiative and being persistent with recieving references from the members.  The village used to be the catholic capital of the country back in the day so it has a giant cathedral downtown that has a huge statue of Michael the archangel fighting with the devil.  It is a pretty cool place and the branch only has about 6 years since it was organized.  It was fun to meet some of the members, the pioneers of this village for the church.  We also had the chance to meet a single mom thisa week that is raising her three small children without a husband.  She is battling a very tough disease that makes her body very weak.  We were so touched by her circumstances and her intentions to know more about Christ and His church.  She will for sure be baptized in the future because she is so humble and in such need for the Gospel blessings in her life.  Margarita, the lady that got baptized last week, told us about a miracle that happened to her a few days before.  She needed to make a cake for some kind of assignment but didnt have the ingredients.  She couldnt leave the house at the moment and did not know what to do.  After thinking without coming up with a conclusion, she saw a big supply truck skid around the corner outside her house and out flew a full cardboard box in to the street.  The truck did not seem to notice that it had lost some cargo and continued down the road.  Margarita went outside to check what was in the box.  When she opened the box she found tons of the exact cookies that she needed to make the cake.  She thanked the Lord for the miracle.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!  We loved being able to participate in the confirmations of Margarita, Oscar, and Ariana yeserday in sacrament meeting.  I confirmed Oscar and felt strongly that he will serve a mission one day and represent the Lord worthily.  That feeling brought me great joy!  I would like to end with an experience that has to do with us being thankful for the Gospel in our lives and sharing it faithfully with those aroundus as a result.  This experience happened when we were doing our ward visits to the inactive members of the ward.  A young kid of about 3 years ran out of his house to yell at us.  This kid is the younger brother of a young man in our ward.  The young man is the only member of his family.  Every time we pass his house, his younger brother runs out at screams ¨Nacho is in the house!!!¨  always thinking that we are going to visit him.  We pass by often and it is very rare that we are on that street to go visit his older brother.  But it is always funny when he does it.  We have just started teaching the dad of these two brothers.  He is going through many trials, trying to leave alcohol after 40 years of using it.  This time when we passed by, the little boy ran out and yelled ¨My dad is in the house!!!!¨  I laughed like usual but then felt a great feeling that this little boy´s spirit was pleading that we share the Gospel with his family.  What an example!!!  We can always learn so much from  the small children in our lives.  That we may be bold and fearless in our preaching of the Gospel like this innocent little boy to show our thanks for the blessings in our lives is my prayer!  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
Elder Stutz

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

¿Habéis Preguntado al Señor?

We had a full week of events!  We started with our multi-zone conference with President Kusch and his wife.  He spoke about everything we had heard in our mission council of zone leaders.  He spoke on the new requirements that each ward or branch will have to meet to qualify for missionaries.  If there is a ward or branch that does not meet those requirements, the missionaries will be moved to a different area.  This means, especially with the increase of future missionaries applying to serve, there can be up to 3 companionships in a ward or branch that does qualify.  In the next few months, the wards and branches are expected to make the neccessary changes to be able to keep their missionaries.  We also had a cool safety training that will certainly protect us and the leaders of the church here in Mexico.  Everything with the food turned out well after buying enough donuts, gatorade, and pizza for 80 people haha.  Later in the week, we had Ignacio and Arianas wedding.  It was fun to be there with them on such a special day.  Elder Quinnelly and I were witnesses at the wedding so we were right there in the action!!!!   I attached photos so you can see that they were very happy together.  The following day, we had a busy day baptizing.  We started with the service in the Centro ward.  We filled up the font and everything was ready so that we could have a great service.  Margarita, the women who got baptized, said an amazing opening prayer.  She began to cry in her prayer as she thanked the Lord for the opportunity to start over in her life and come to know the Savior better by following His example.  After the spiritual thoughts, Margarita and I moved into the font to perform the ordinance.  When we entered we found that the drain had automatically turned on so the water level was pretty low.  We decided to move on with the baptism and we just had to sumerge them a little more than usual haha.  But I baptized Margarita and Elder Quinnelly baptized Oscar, her 15 year old son.  There were several members there to support and they were both so happy.  After the service, we ran over to our church for Arianas baptism.  Her newly wed husband shared his testimony because he just got active again in the church after going inactive at the age of 15.  He began to cry as he looked at his wife in her white baptismal clothes.  He shared a touching testimony of his desire to have an eternal family with Ariana and his son that will be born in December.  The Spirit was so strong and I felt so grateful in that moment for the opportunity I had to meet this wonderful couple and teach them the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I baptized Ariana and she too looked so content after having been baptized.  Yesterday we had stake conference.  We received a transmission from Salt Lake that I believe was directed to all spanish speaking countries.  We heard from some members of the seventy and from Elder Scott.  Elder Scott spoke to us in spanish of the blessings of the temple.  He talked about his wife a lot and shared a heartfelt testimony of the reality of eternal families in our lives.  Ariana and Ignacio were there to hear the talk and I hope and pray that they begin to prepare themselves to be sealed for time and all eternity.  I know that the Lord wants our families to last for eternity and I know it is possible through the restored priesthood that we have on the earth.  I also know that when any of us are in a tough situation in our lives that we can turn to the Lord in prayer to recieve direct guidance from His Holy Spirit.  Love you all!!
Elder Stutz 

pics of the wedding ( I was a witness and had to sign the paper to make it official!!) 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Organizó Sus Fuerzas y Nombró Mensajeros

Hey Guys
This last week we had mission council with all the zone leaders and it was a good time.  We did it on halloween and we had it in presidents house.  There are a lot of changes going on in Mexico as far as the mssionary work goes.  In the whole contry, we are not allowed to contact.  We can only work through references.  The wards and branches are also going to have to help us more.  There will be strict requirements that each ward and branch have to complete to qualify to have missionaries.  These changes arent being made overnight but after a few months everything will be on track.  The reason the work is changing is because less than 10% of the baptisms here stay active.  So we need more participation from the ward leaders and members.  This will change the church here in Mexico.  Elder Bednar said the following about these changes:  We are going to start doing the work how we should have being doing it from the start.  So we are pumped for these changes and we are really trying to help the members get used to it and get more active in the Gospel.  We will be having a multi zone conference tomorrow here in Chilpancingo to talk about these changes and about security.  Elder Quinnelly and I are busy all day today preparing this event for 80 people. (I am so grateful for Sams club when we have to feed 80 people breakfast and lunch!!)  As for the work in our area, last week was kind of tough because our three baptims fell.  But they are all happening this week now, including the wedding of Ignacio and Ariana.  I am stoked for that because they are both awesome friends of mine now.  Margarita and Oscar are also going to be baptized this coming Saturday along with Dulce.  We continue to make posters for the members in the ward to help them keep track of their spiritual progress in the home.  We love making them because we feel like it is a good way to really leave something behind in this ward that will benefit them for the future.  We also started our new ward activity of visits every friday to get the members more active in the Gospel.  Before, no one visited anyone in the ward.  But this past friday we did this activity and 8 people came.  We were able to do several inspired visits and we expect to have a lot more members there this Friday.  I feel that these visits are going to change the unity and love in this ward forever.   love this work and I am so grateful that I have been in this ward so long to see a little bit of progress and most of all, to dedicated so much time, thoughts, and energy to the Lord so that he can bless the people in the Heroico ward.  Love all you guys.  Hope all is well and that everyone has a great week!
Elder Stutz          

La Gratitud Precede el Milagro

Hey Guys!
Well, last week flew by pretty fast!  We went to renew our visas in Cuernavaca on Tuesday and started our work for the week on Wednesday.  We got the opportunity to exercise our priesthood and help other exercise their priesthood this past week.  We went to teach an investigator from Centros ward but the investigator never showed up.  We were waiting for her in the house of several members.  We began talking with them and discovered that many of them were suffering from illnesses or other strong trials that were threatening the happiness of them and their own families.  One by one, they began asking for priesthood blessings.  We gave maybe 5 or 6 blessings, I dont remember well.  But I do recall the special spirit present in that home.  I remember the silent prayers I said in my head and heart to know what to say to a son or daughter of God that was going through a trial stronger than I have ever had in my life.  We also helped a brother get out of his comfort zone by giving preisthood blessings to his son and his wife.  It was a special night of priesthood power.  I am grateful that the Lord has restored that power on the earth today for the happiness of His children.  Ariana and Ignacio are officially going to get married!!!!  This Thursday is the day.  Elder Quinnelly and I are going to be the witnesses and the baptism will be on Saturday.  They are both so excited because the baby will be born in a couple weeks.  We were able to talk with them about their eternal family.  They are already excited to go to the temple in about a year to be able to be sealed together.  Ignacio is excited to soon recieve the Melquisedeck priesthood and to receive a calling in the ward.  I lvoe them both and cant wait for the baptism and their temple sealing!  THIS is what the restored Gospel is all about, eternal happiness in the family.  We also have two other baptisms this coming week.  Their names are Margarita and her 15 year old son Oscar.  They are from Centros ward and we have enjoyed teaching them.  Margarita has such a strong testimony of the Gospel and cant wait to get baptized.  On Sunday, we went to Centros ward again and met ANOTHER invited friend that had come to church.  After meeting with him 5 minutes, hearing a powerful testimony from his friend, and talking about the importance of baptism, he committed to be baptized on the 17th of November.  He is a 20 yearold kid looking for direction in his life and felt something different and peaceful when he came to church.  We ahve around 10 planned baptisms for the month of November and we are excited for all these brothers and sisters of ours that are experiencing these changes in their lives and recieving the blessings of the Gospel.  Meanwhile, the Chilpancingo zone is experiencing many trials.  There are several areas that have nothing going on because they havent been able to work effectively with their members yet.  I had been praying for guidance to know what to do to help these missionaries have success and enjoy their mission more.  During the sacrament,  I was reading about the miracle when Christ multiplied the bread and fish to feed the multitude. I noticed that the disciples focused on the negative, the lack of food. But Christ took ¨what they already had¨ and gave thanks. The miracle of the multiplying came after the gratitude. I shared this with a few elders to help them see the importance of being grateful for what we have: willing members, a bishop, a ward mission leader, etc. Once we are grateful for what we do have, the Lord will work miracles in our areas so that the strength of the Lord is multiplied. I know this will happen in the Chilpancingo stake if we will just be grateful for what we have and if we continue to work diligently everyday for the Lord.  Love you all and hope everyone enjoys a good Halloween!!!
Elder Stutz  

Sacrificar para la Salvación

Hey everyone
I'll start today with some financial miracles.  Due to travel and changes, our monthly money went down the drain pretty fast and we were getting kind of scared for what we were going to do for the second half of the month.  Both of us had very small amounts of money.  One day during the week, my companion left the house with 200 pesos.  During the day, he spent about 70 pesos.  When we got home at night, he pulled out 250 pesos from his pocket.  We went over what he had spent and the change that the stores had given him.  The only explanation for the extra money was the same explanation when Christ multiplied the fish and bread for the multitude!!!!  Later that night, I found a 200 peso bill in my scriptures where I dont remember storing it away.  I thought I had already spent it but there it was.  We also had a miracle in our ward when the leaders finally agreed to make a ward mission plan with us!  Now we will be working more harmoniously with the ward and their goals for the missionary work.  After 6 months of asking and pleading, we got our mission plan!!  My companion and I also came up with a sweet idea to strengthen the families of the ward.  We made these nice laminated posters to measure success in the home regarding living the Gospel.  The chart helps the members keep track of when they do family home evenings, family scripture study, and family prayer.  We believe it will help the members realize that they are missing the simple daily things that protect us from temptation and failure in the family.  We also believe that if the members become more converted in their homes and families, they will naturally share the Gospel more.  They will have the desire to share what keeps them happy on a daily basis.  We also had our activity this past saturday.  We grilled 72 hamburgers while the members learned about geneology.  They had some laptops there to be able to learn hands-on.  We had several members coming out to eat their hamburgers totally excited because they had found several of their ancestors that they had never heard of or found before.  There was also a sister there that lives in very humble circumstances financially that thanked us so much for the hamburger because she had never eaten one her whole life of 55 years.  Even though we ran out of meat and didnt get to eat, we loved seeing the members together, feeling of the spirit of Elijah and enjoying a good american burger! haha  We even bought some A1 sauce and told everyone it was the 'secret sauce' for american hamburgers.  Everyone loved the sauce! haha  Apart from all the fun, we had a great baptismal service on Sunday morning of Lara.  She was so excited to get baptized and her parents supported her the whole way.  They came to her baptism and it was their first time coming to church.  They dressed up in suit and tie and dress and looked great!  I think her parents loved the baptism, especially because we asked them to give the two prayers to support their daughter on that special day.  I think they too will get baptized in a couple of weeks.  Ignacio and Ariana are still trying to figure out their marriage so we are waiting on that.  There are several great investigators that we haved started to help from the Centro ward.  The members do SO MUCH there and even though there are no missionaries there right now, they continue to baptism almost every week because they are truly converted members who love to share the Gospel.  I have enjoyed getting to know them in lessons with their friends because they share such powerful testimonies.  The title of my email comes from a quote that I love by Joseph Smith that basically says that no religion who doesnt ask us to sacrifice all things is able to provide us the necessary faith for salvation.  That is what I talked about in a talk I gave this past sunday in our ward.  I know that the Lord asks us to give ALL.  Sometimes we are not willing to sacrifice our most favorite sins or past-times but the Lord needs us to work in His vineyard so that we can be blessed with the faith to be able to return to His presence.  I love serving Him 24/7, it is a great joy!  Love you all and miss you guys a bunch!
Elder Stutz   

Monday, October 15, 2012

Discípulos en la Familia

Wow!  What a great conference week!  We sent off the sister missionaries from Centro ward this past monday and went to clean out their house and pay the rent.  After these activities we went to Cuernavaca for our council with President Kusch and the other zone leaders.  We talked about priesthood keys and how we can build Zion in the Cuernavaca mission.  We are excited to teach the elders later today about how we can build up Zion in this part of the world as missionaries so that they can be more successful and happy in and after the mission.  Upon or return to Chilpancingo we started teaching a man that had recieved a few of the lessons from other elders.  His name is Antonio and he was so prepared by the Lord before we met him.  He lives in the Centro ward and after just a couple meetings with him, we found he was ready to be baptized that saturday.  We held the service after the first session of conference and the Spirit was so strong.  Since all the elders were there in the stake center watching conference, about 16 of us were in the service and we sang a special musical number for Antonio.  He was so happy that day and I know he will become a great leader in the church because he has made so many changes in his life to obey the commandments.  He is truly converted.  We were happy to hear that the minimum missionary age was lowered because that means that so many more young men and women will be joining the ranks in the near future.  We will certainly need more missionaries in the field with the Gospel spreading so much and with large countries that I assume will soon be opened up to proselyting soon.  I encourage all the women especially to make that decision a matter of prayer so that the Lord can let you know by the Spirit if He would have you serve in that way in your life or no.  I know that Heavenly Father always answers our prayers.  I had a fun experience at the beginning of the priesthood session.  We got to the church to watch it and learned that the satelite was not working and we were not getting the feed.  The stake president asked me to call Salt Lake to figure out what was going on.  While I was on hold, the elders in the zone offered up a prayer in one of the rooms that we would be able to fix the problem and that the feed would start going through in 5 minutes.  After the prayer, the call went through and I was able to work with a tech guy and translate to the stake leaders to fix the problem.  Within 5 minutes, the feed came back and we watched the rest of the session.  Sometimes, we are scared to pray for very specific blessings, but its only through specific prayers that we can receive the most important blessings in our life.  I felt so inspired by the talks given this weekend.  The two themes that stuck in my mind were the importance of spending time with the family doing wholesome things and being a true disciple of Christ forever.  I know that I must become a dedicated disciple of Christ during these two years so that I will never leave His side for the rest of eternity.  Love you all and wish everyone a great week.
Elder Stutz       

Monday, October 1, 2012

El Enseñar es la Esencia de Liderazgo

Hey everyone!
Well i apologize again for not sending more pictures, I have so many to send still but I have yet to find a good computer to be able to send them haha.  We got our soccer jerseys that we custom made for the zone and they turned out awesome!!!!  The elders really liked them and we are going to go play soccer today in them.  We continue to visit the members very frequently and currently, we are eating with a lot of sisters from the ward that we had eaten with before.  So we are getting to know the members better everyday.  We were able to meet the last bishop better when we ate and his house last week.  He is a great guy and we learned that his wife got baptized right before they got married.  She is the only member in her family of several brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces.  We are working with them to start teaching them.  We also went with the second conselor of the elders quorom this past week to visit some inactives.  It went really well and we found two families to teach while we were out visiting with him.  Both families are in really tough economic situations and live in very humble conditions.  We will see if they put their trust in the Lord by making sacrifices to recieve blessings.  One family has already accepted a baptismal date for the end of the month so we are excited for them.  They have the cutest kids too that want to learn more about Jesus Christ.  We continue to teach Ariana and Ignacio, the couple that is planning on getting married soon so that Ariana can get baptized.  She continues to progress well and we are excited for her.  They are planning out their wedding right now so we should be able to have the baptism in a couple weeks.  Dulce and Laura, the two college girls we are teaching are also progressing toward baptism for either this week or the next.  We also had more special changes in the zone this past week.  One elder got here to be in a trio and the sister missionaries are getting changed out today.  So Elder Quinnelly and I are going to help the investigators that they had get baptized.  It sounds like there will be like 4 or 5 from that ward in the next couple weeks.  So we are excited for all these people and the changes they are making in their lives for the better.  We had the opportunity to go with some priesthood leaders to eat corn on the cob in a little cabin that is basically a man hang out for the priesthood leaders here haha.  It was good to get to know the leaders better and get more of their confidence.  And the corn was super delicious!!!  I was feeling pretty mexican eating the corn with the mayonnaise and cheese on it, talking and making jokes with all the guys haha.  We had interviews this past week with President Kusch and I really enjoyed mine.  He complimented on my work, sacrifice, and dedication.  I talked to him about how I could become a better leader.  He told me that the essence of leadership is being a great teacher.  He said that the greatest leaders he has ever met are amazing teachers.  So right now I am working on becoming a better teacher and I know the things I am learning and applying now will help me for the rest of my life in my family, work, and in the church.  The work is going well and I have been able to see, especially in this area, that those who obey the commandments are blessed in every way of their lives.  Those that obey some of the commandments lose many blessings for them and for their family.  I invite all to obey ALL the commandments of God, for they are for our physical and spiritual well being.  Love you all
Elder Stutz

La Caridad: El Amor Puro de Cristo

Another eventful week here in Chilpancingo.  Today, we spent the WHOLE day in a bus going to and from Cuernavaca.  Elder Cangahaula got special changes to Cuernavaca so now its just Elder Quinnelly and I again.  We had a lot of fun with Elder Cangahuala and I think he learned a lot from us.  He brought a new energy into the companionship that we are going to try to keep up. We did divisions to start the week with Zumpango.  I went to Zumpango with Elder Jimenez and we had a lot of success.  A bunch of people accepted baptismal date and we were feeling the Spirit strong in the lessons.  Afterwards, we had another conference with President Kusch here in Chilpancingo.  He and the assistants taught us about spiritual planning and being worthy to have the Spirit with us always.  After the conference, we did divisions with the assistants.  I stayed in our area with Elder Forrest and Elder Cangahuala.  Elder Forrest was in my leadership class at BYU first semester so we know each other pretty well.  He was also in the MTC when I had just got there and we had fun dueling it out in bball there.  So it was fun to catch up with him and to also get some tips from him on how we can improve our teaching skills.  On Saturday, we had our bbq with the young men and young single adults.  None of the leaders showed up so we had to go buy everything for it but it turned out pretty well.  Not many of the young men showed up but a few young single adults did and we were able to talk to them a little bit about the blessings of going on a mission.  There are a few in the ward right now that are trying to decide to go or not.  We are trying to motivate them by having them come with us to appointments and baptisms.  That is something that helped me a bunch when I would go with the elders like Elder Burton, Elder White, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Da Silva, etc.  I love those guys so much and I hope to be a similar example for the young men here.  We have 2 possible baptisms this next week.  Dulce and Laura are two young girls that are studying college here in Chilpo but are from other cities or villages here in Guerrero.  They have shown a lot of desires to be baptized, we just need to teach them a little more and they will be ready.  We did a special fast with Laura last week so that she could get accepted into a school.  Things didnt work out exactly how she wanted but she was able to enter into a course that, if she passes, she can get into the university.  We are going to help them this week so that they can get baptized soon.  Also, we are teaching a part member couple that is really nice.  They are both like 23 years old, the guy is a member that is just getting active again and the girl is not a member but wants to get baptized.  She has loved coming to church and she loves the emphasis we put on eternal families because she is 6 months pregnant.  They are planning on getting married soon so that she can get baptized and so that they can later be sealed as an eternal family in the temple.  She has been pretty sick because of the pregnancy so on Sunday in church we gave her a blessing and she enjoyed that and felt a little better leaving the church.  After being in this country so many months, working so much with the Mexican people, I have come to develop such a love for them.  It is sad a lot of the time to see the terrible poverty, wickedness, etc. that is so common in this culture and also in so many cultures in the whole world.  But I love this people so much and the gift of charity that I have been blessed with motivates me everyday to go out in the hot sun, climb a mountain, and do everything I can to help these people find true joy and happiness through Christ and His healing power.  This work is my joy!
Elder Stutz   

Monday, September 17, 2012

¡Viva México!

Hey Guys
Everything is good here in Mexico!  We continue to work and we continue to see the blessings of our labors.  Last Monday we organized volleyball for the zone and almost all the missionaries came.  It was a blast and we were able to bond as a zone.  It reminded me of fun times with friends and family playing volleyball outside on the baseball field´s grass.  We also had the opportunity to visit Alma, the convert, again in her home and talk with her about her progress in the Gospel.  She commented to us that she had read Lehi´s dream in the Book of Mormon and was deeply touched by its message of enduring to the end and sharing the Gospel with others.  She talked about the desire that Lehi had to share the fruit with his family but Laman and Lemuel did not accept.  She compared this story to her own life because she continues to invite her family to come to church with her and get baptized but up till now, they have not accepted.  But the good thing is that she understands that it will come with time and patience.  She has such a strong testimony of the Gospel and she continues to hold fast to the iron rod.  Roberto, our recently activated friend, came to do divisions with us this past week.  He and I went to go visit some of his friends to invite them to listen to our message.  It was a sad but also special experience to see him invite several family members and friends that he has to listen to our message and to hear all of them decline the offer.  The special part about it was that he never got discouraged, we continue to invite.  His testimony has been strengthened so much and he is learning to overcome the bad examples of friends and family in his lfie.  He is a great guy and I am so grateful to have been part of his recent conversion.  We also had a baptism this past week!!!  Zuley, a nine year old girl from the primary, wasnt baptized because her mom is inactive.  We went with them this past week and Zuley told us she wanted to be baptized.  We taught her all week and on Sunday she was baptized and I confirmed her a few minutes later in sacrament meeting.  She is such an example, like many young kids, of willingness to follow Christ and do everything to keep His commandments.  I think the baptism got the ward pretty excited so we are pumped for the following weeks to receive references and continue to work with these great members.  We also had a great activity on Saturday to celebrate the independence of Mexico.  A ton of people came and we received a few references from it.  Us three did a special number as we sung a tradicional song from Acapulco.  We totally butchered it but it gave the people a good laugh!  Right now we are teaching a 19 year old girl named Laura who is progressing really well.  She has gone to church twice and is living with members right now.  I will have an update next week on her but she is planning on getting baptized in 2 weeks!  I love this work and know its the Lords work!  Hope everyone enjoys their week!
Elder Stutz

Monday, September 10, 2012

La Tristeza Produce Arrepentimiento Para Salvación

We had a pretty eventful week again.  Special changes have become more common than regular changes for me!  This past week we got a new companion!  Elder Quinnelly and I are now training a new elder that just got here from Peru.  His name is Elder Cangahuala and he served about 4 months in Peru waiting for his visa.  He is super cool and we like having him in the companionship.  He is a short little guy and he is funny and humble.  Ill send a pic next week!  Last Monday I had the opportunity to teach a little bit in another district meeting in our zone.  Elder Crook, the district leader, asked me to teach his district what I taught him in divisions about having our own sacred grove in the mornings.  The idea comes from a talk by Elder Kikuchi and I taught them that every morning they must follow the morning schedule and before they study, they should find a quiet, peaceful place to pour their soul out to the Lord.  The purpose of this daily habit is to develop a stronger relationship with God, resolve problems or worries we have daily, and to receive specific revelation to fix those problems and worries.  It is a principle that has changed my life completely since I started over a year ago.  I testified to those elders that if they made it a habit, that they would recieve more power in the priesthood and that their mission would become a springboard of spirtual progression for their lives.  I also invite all of you to do so as well every morning and I promise that you will be happier on a daily basis and that you will develop a stronger relationship with God.  At the beginning of the week, we found a drunk in the street that talk to us for a little bit, we learned that he is a member and that he is the patriarchs son.  Because of alcohol, his life has been destroyed but he wants to change.  We went to his house and met his girlfriend and her daughter.  She seems super interested in the Church and we have started to teach her.  She wants him to change as well because they do not have peace in their family.  We sang I am a Child of God to them and the brother cried.  The daughter loved the song and she is such a cute little girl.  We hope that they can come unto Christ as a family to experience healing and peace in their home.  This past week we also went to Cuernavaca for our council with President Kusch.  We talked about new rules of the mission and also about the way to do missionary work.  We are now not allowed to contact doors or contact people in the street.  Everything we do now has to be with the members.  President promised us with this new way to work and this new focus on the members that we will have more baptisms, more active members, more temple attendence of the members, and more overall growth in the church in Mexcio.  We are excited for it and we have already begun to see the fruits of it in our ward, Heroico.  We had ward council last night and we planned a bunch of activities and set goals so that the members give us work to do.  Their attitude will slowly start to change about the missionary work and I am confident that we will be able to work more alongside the members in this great work.  We also had the opportunity to meet with the stake president of Chilpancingo again, President Torres.  He is such a great man and a great leader.  We are working with him to get the stake excited about this new focus on member missionary work.  He has taught me how to be a Christ-like leader and how to do things the Lords way with a humble willingness to do His will.  We continue to work with a few investigators but none of them came to church this week.  We are struggling to help these people progress toward baptism and we will be looking for revelation this week to improve our efforts.  This morning I read a scripture that I liked a lot that talks about feelings that I have pretty often.  In 2 Corithians 7:10, it talks about how godly sorrow helps us repent and ultimately reach eternal life.  I have felt that godly sorrow often in the mission as I constantly see children of God choose the other path and choose to suffer instead of enjoy eternal blessings.  Every Sunday I experience feelings of sorrow for all the pèople that chose not to come and partake of the sacrament.  Those feelings have helped me come unto Christ.  Those feelings motivated me to make goals and plans for during and after the mission so that I always choose the right path, so that I do not have to suffer as these people suffer for their decisions.  I am grateful for the trials and experiences that Heavenly Father has given me because I have been able to grow in the Gospel.  I love Him and strive to please Him in my daily service.  I love all you guys as well and I am so grateful for all the Lord has taught me through loved ones in my life.  Have a great week!!!
Elder Stutz


Rendiré Mi Corazón

Hey Guys!
The weeks are just flying by these days, I feel like I was just writing home yesterday.  We had a pretty productive week and we are being blessed right now in our area.  My companion and I learned on Saturday that we will be staying another 6 weeks in our area and  there were only 3 changes in the whole zone.  So we are excited to work with almost the same group of elders and sisters this change.  They are great missionaries and we are learning so much together about working with the members to have real growth in the church in Chilpancingo.  Elder Quinnelly and I were able to give service to some members this past week and visit quite a few less actives.  We are trying to help the ward activate those who have been lost and we have faith that we will find baptisms along the way.  Our elders quorum president, who is a recent convert from Feburary, gave us a reference of his best friend.  He is his neighbor and he has 7 kids!!!  So its a huge family!  I got to teach them when we did divisions with the brothers in the ward and I felt such a sweet spirit in their humble little home as I taught them of Joseph Smith, prophets and baptism.  They accepted baptismal date and are excited to prepare to be baptized.  I fasted for them this weekend and was disappointed when they didn't come to church on Sunday.  The elders quorum pres didn't come either so something must have happened but we were blessed in a different way at church.  None of our investigators showed up but a couple of the less actives that we visited did and also two friends of members showed up for the first time.  They seem interested and we are going to start to teach them this week.  Roberto, the taxi driver that we helped get active again, told us this week that he wants to go out preaching with us two times a week and he is preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood!  He wants to find an eternal companion at church to marry in the temple!!!!  He also bore his testimony on Sunday about tithing.  He said that when he started going to church 2 months ago he decided to give tithing a try because he was super poor.  He told us that the day he gave his first tithing, a person told him to take him all the way to Mexico City in his taxi!  He made bank and knew it was a blessing from the Lord.  I lvoe that guy and know he will be successful in his righteous goals and desires.  We are excited to continue to work here and we are going to baptize a family this change!!!  Lvoe you all and I know this work is true.  Thank you for all the constant thoughts and prayers.
Elder Stutz 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

El Corazón Alegre Hermosea el Rostro

Hey Guys
We had another abnormal week with sicknesses, divisions, and interviews.  The first half of the week was spent in the house because my comp was sick (he is all better now).  After those couple days, I went to Galeana to do divisions with Elder Mijares.  He is my friend from back when I was in Tepoz so it was fun to work with him in his area.  The next day, I went to Chichihualco to do a few interviews and unexpectedly stayed there for a day in order to find the people that were going to get baptized.  Elder Bergen, also a friend from earlier in mission (Iguala), was my companion that day and we were able to find the 3 people and they passed their interviews and got baptized on Sunday!!  That day we also taught a girl named Courtney from Idaho who just moved down here to Mexico with her boyfriend.  She is fluent in both languages but prefers english so we taught her and her boyfriend in english.  I was making more mistakes teaching in english than I do teaching in spanish!! haha It was so hard for me to teach in english and I had a huge headache by the end of it after having to translate from spanish to english in my head haha.  But they are super cool and I think they will progress well.  On Saturday, Elder Quinnelly and I were back in our area and we did some service for Almas brother, Javier, who is an inactive member of about 20 years.  We went up to a house that he has been trying to sell ever since his wife died tragically, to clean it out and get it ready to show to some perople that are interested in buying it.  After the service we struggled to find the people we wanted to find last week like references and other new investigators.  It was a tough day but throughout the day when I was feeling a little down I would say a quick prayer in my head for comfort.  Evertime I did so, the Lord would send me a tender mercy.  Sometimes it was a scripture that I had memorized earlier, other times it was a cute little baby that smiled at me etc.  I know the Lord doesnt ever abandon us and that He is greatly involved in the work we do.  Yesterday, we were able to have ward council and we helped the ward leaders gain a greater vision of how the missionary work in the ward should be.  I feel like this ward is going to progress so much in these next few months becuase they are going to be the missionaries and we will just be there to support them and help them out.  This past week we were hoping for a baptism of a 10 year old kid whose mom is a great member and his dad is just barely starting to investigate the church.  We were working with them throughout the week and I specifically fasted and prayed for them.  Well, the kid decided not to get baptized but we made progress.  I know that one day that family will be an eternal family.  I have developed so much love for these people that I just want to see them in heaven and I want them to live happily in this life.  Although I wont see all the fruits of our labors while Im here, I know that one day I will see some of these people in the kingdom of heaven and we will rejoice together.  My companion and I are excited for this last week of the change and for the opportunity to work together everyday.  We are going to work happily and with the Spirit so that others will naturally want what we have to offer.  I know this work is true and that all can participate in it and experience great joy.  Love you all!!!!
Elder Stutz 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Amar, Servir, Enseñar

Hey Guys
We enjoyed a busy fun week.  On preparation day we had our zone soccer tournament and had a ton of fun.  We have a great group of elders here right now and they are all great friends of mine.  On Tuesday, we received some more special changes as President opened the village Zumpango again.  So two new missionaries arrived and we took them to their area and showed them around.  The members there were waiting for quite a while anxiously to have missionaries there again so they received the elders with open arms.  They are excited to work there because the members are so willing to work with them.  As we were heading to the bus station there in Zumpango to travel back to Chilpo, a man contacted us in English and we found out he is from Denver.  He is there visiting his family because they are from Zumpango and he was looking for a church there.  He told me to visit him when I get home from the mission and he seems like a really cool guy.  We were able to meet his family and invite them to go to the church there in Zumpango.  On Wednesday, we did divisiones with Obrera.  I went with our district leader Elder Gray in his area and we enjoyed a fun day together.  He is super cool and we enjoyed getting to know each other better.  On Thursday, we spent the whole day planning our zone conference that we had on Friday.  President Kusch and his wife came and we had a very successful zone conference.  Everything turned out well  and I learned so much about working with members and local leaders of the church.  My companion and I are trying to put into practice what we learned and we are confident that we will have more success by doing it.  I taught a workshop about gaining the trust of the members and it was entitled Love, Serve, and Teach.  Those are the principles that we must use to gain the trust of the members so that we can teach their family members and friends.  President told us that our capacitations were the best ones he had seen from the other zone conferences they had had and I really did feel the Spirit so strong in the conference.  On Saturday we went to the stake primary talents night and watched our wards primary perform a skit of the story of Ammon from the Book of Mormon.  Alma´s daughters participated and they did such a great job.  Little Barbie (4 year old daughter) dressed up in a sheep costume and got scattered by the Lamanites haha.  It was pretty cute.  We had a very spritual experience with some members on night after their grandma had died.  Ambar, Luis and Jesus are all converts of about a year and their ages range from 23-30.  The rest of their huge extended family is catholic and isnt interested still in the church.  They were sad to see their grandma die but with their new knowledge of the plan of salvation and the missionary work in the spirit world, they were able to accept the situation better than their family members.  What makes them the most sad right now is the hard hearts of their family members.  But they have always been great examples for them and I am confident that after this experience, the family will be more open to talk to us.  But the night we went to go talk to them we offered a kneeling prayer with them and the husband of the grandma that died who cannot hear or speak.  He had never tried to communicate with us before but after the prayer, his eyes were filled with tears and he was making noices that sounded like he was trying to thank us.  It was a very spiritual moment for all of us and I will never forget it.  On Sunday, we had 7 investigators come to church and we had a great lesson in Gospel Principles.  We taught about prophets and Alma was the only member there with all the investigators.  The investigators were expressing a lot of doubts and questions about Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson and Alma boldly shared her testimony that she knows that it is all true and she even told us how she came to know that it is true.  The Spirit was so strong as she did so and the investigators seemed amazed at the confiction of this recent convert to the church.  She hasnt missed a Sunday since her baptism and every week she gets her 4 kids dressed and ready by herself and drags them to church.  She is a truly converted convert to the church.  She even recently bought a white shirt and tie for her one year old son who looks super cute now at church.  If that family is the last family that I baptize here, I will still rejoice in the progress that has been made with her and the great change that has happened in her life the last couple months.  I love you guys lots and I appreciate your prayers on my behalf.  Have a great week!!
Elder Stutz      

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sé en Quien He Confiado

Hey Guys
We have had a rainy and cloudy week here in Chilpo which has been a blessing because its not so hot.  We went to the zoo last p day with about half of the zone and had a lot of fun.  It is a small cheap zoo but we convinced the director to give us a special tour and we were able to get up close and personal with a lion!  So that was pretty sweet and I think the elders had a great time.  Today we have also organized a soccer tournament of the zone to help unity so im pretty pumped right now to go dominated!  We also started up an english class this past week on the stake level.  There are a lot of people in the stake that speak or want to learn to speak english so we decided to start a class that the missionaries will teach.  Six people came this past week which was pretty good for not really announcing it much still.  My comp taught the more advanced speakers and I taught two kids ages 10 and 7.  They told me my class was boring so they ditched me half way through haha.  I dont think I'll ever try to be an elementary teacher.  But it went well and well see if we can find some success through it.  We also have had a ton of special changes in the zone lately so we have been real busy at the bus station sending missionaries off and greeting the new ones.  One of the changes affected us quite a bit.  President took the sisters out of the area that is next to our area.  They had just barely moved into a new house and made a contract with the landlord.  In our house we didnt have a contract so we moved from our house to a really nice house that the sisters were living in.  Since we are the zone leaders we have a ton of stuff so it took a couple days to move and settle in.  But our new house is pretty amazing.  With the extra mattresses we have we made couches, we have an awesome study room where we are going to be recieving a bunch of revelation (we call it El Monte).  So we are feeling a lot better to leave our last house and live a lot more comfortably in this one.  We continue to do several family home evenings with the members of the ward every week.  They have been pretty good to invite their non member friends and family to come and listen to our message.  We have also prepared a new message for these family nights.  We teach the members and the non members how to share the Gospel and we do it with hands-on activities.  We usually set up situations so that the members do a role-play of them sharing the Gospel with their friends that are there in the family night.  We have felt the Spirit in these role-plays as members have invited their friends to listen to the missionaries, to go to church, shared their testimony, etc.  We think these activities will strengthen the members a lot and that they will be more bold in sharing the Gospel with their friends.  Just to let everyone know (and mostly to comfort my mom), I am doing well.  This work isn't easy but it is worth it everyday.  It has been a little bit hard to go through a period without baptisms when my companion and I feel that we have become the best missionaries we have ever been, but we trust in the Lord and know that we are doing His will.  I know in whom I have trusted and I know that this work will continue to go forth and grow everyday in the whole world until the Lord comes again to reign upon the earth.  I love you all and hope to hear from you guys soon because I miss everyone so much!!  

Elder Stutz    


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

El Para Siempre Se Compone De Ahoras

Hey Guys,
We had a pretty abnormal week due to our counsel and capacitation in Cuernavaca.  But before we left, we were able to meet with the stake president of Chilpancingo and talk to him about the real growth of the church here.  We set goals and made plans to improve so that this stake can be split as soon as possible.  My companion got a little sick to his stomach at the beginning of the week as well so we didnt get a chance to work before leaving to Cuernavaca.  On Thursday, we had a ten hour counsel with President and the rest of the zone leaders.  We talked about a ton of stuff like working effectively with the members, working with the leaders of the church, having faith in our work, mission rules, and the pattern of conversion.  President Kusch has recieved so much revelation for the mission and he is helping us out a ton.  We all feel like the mission can baptize so much more and that we can help the church grow quicker in this part of the world.  The following day, we had our capacitation of leaders where all the district leaders and trainers joined us.  That was another eight hour meeting where we talked about a lot of similar things and also did a lot of hands on practice with role plays.  We enjoyed ourselves quick a bit and I was able to see a bunch of my best friends in the mission.  Elder Oswald just became zone leader of the Civac zone (where we served together) so he was there as well.  I actually got to stay over night at his house so we caught up on how we were doing and our missionary experiences.  He is such a great and humble guy, I know we will be great friends after the mission.  We didnt get back to Chilpo till Saturday afternoon so we were left with a few short hours to work in our area for the week.  But we did enjoy those hours because we went to the church to meet some friends of a young man in our ward named Rafa.  He is constructing a house with his dad and some family friends right now so he as had the chance to share the Gospel with them.  He only got baptized like 5 months ago but he has such a strong testimony and is looking forward to serving a mission.  But I did enjoy getting to know a couple of his family friends and we ended up taking them into the church to gave them a tour and show them around.  One of the guys lives with his wife and 7 kids!  We are going to go teach him and his family on Tuesday.  Sunday brought with it a few tender mercies of the Lord.  None of our investigators came to church due to our absence during the week.  But my heart was touched when a recently activated member got up to share his testimony.  I dont remember if I have talked about him before but he is a taxi driver that we ran into a few weeks ago.  He was alone and completely separated from the church.  We found out his bday was the following day from when we met him and told him we would take him out to eat.  He is now a great friend of mine and hasnt missed a sunday at church in about a month now.  But he got up and expressed his love for the Savior and His Atonement and for the chance he has to repent and come back to Christ through the Church.  We taught the Gospel Principles class again and afterwards a bunch of primary kids ran down the hall towards us.  They all gave us little drawings they had done of us, the missionaries.  Their teacher told us that she asked them to draw their greatest heroes and they all decided that the missionaries are the greatest heroes.  It was so sweet of them and I was so grateful for those kids an their love towards all the missioanries in the world.  In elders quorum we had the chance to teach again because the President wasnt able to make it.  We decided to talk about home teaching and train these brethern how to do it.  So we learned with them how a home teaching visit should be done and then we conducted a role play right there in Church to get them practicing what they need to be doing every week.  It went really well and I think the brethren are more confident now in going to do visits to the members and less actives.  We have some special changes going on in the zone.  We had a good elder leave yesterday and another come in to take his place and a set of the sister missionaries are getting changed out and their ward will be without missionaries for right now.  We are going to go live in their apartment though because they had a contract on it so we will be living in a different area but will continue to work in our area.  Today we are heading to the zoo here in Chilpo with our zone to help with unity and to have fun and then my comp and I are going to have a zone capacitation to teach everyone what we learned from President Kusch and apply it to the specific needs of our zone.  I am grateful for the work and service we do on a daily basis in this church because the Lord is always preparing us for the future.  I love a quote which is the title of my email ¨Forever is composed of nows.¨  We cannot procrastinate the improvments that we need to make today.  When we make those improvements today, the Lord prepares our future so that we will be able to return to His presence with our families and eternal joy.  THis is our goal and I hope to help others achieve it too.  Love you all!!!
Elder Stutz