Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aguas Sanantes

Hey Guys
First I want to start off by thanking everyone that wished me a happy bday, love you all and your letters always make me smile and strengthen me. Well, Elder Pearson and I continue to work hard in the blazing heat here in Iguala. We were witnesses to countless miracles last week leading up to a wonderful baptism on Saturday. We baptized a 20 year old girl on saturday named Yemir. Her whole family got baptized like 3 months ago but she didnt because she didnt live here before. She has had a ton of trials in her life, especially while she was living with her grandparents. Her family prayed that they could become a complete family in the Gospel and that she could come live with them someday again. Well, that prayer was answered a couple weeks before we got here as she came to live with her family for the first time in her life. Due to all the trials she has had to go through, Yemir didnt believe in God. She didnt believe in God even up to Wednesday of last week. We were praying for her all week that she could get baptized on Saturday. She had gone to church a few times and had liked it, but still didnt have much hope or faith in her life. Our lessons with her this past week were some of the most spritual times of my life. In every instance, we were recieving revelation for this daughter of God so that she could prepare to be baptized on Saturday. When she told us she didnt believe in God, we promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon that night and prayed to ask God is He exists, that she would get an answer and would be able to be baptized on Saturday. Well, Yemir exercised the little tiny bit of faith that she had. She recieved an answer that night that God lives and that she needed to be baptized. It was another evidence to me that God does exist, that He answers prayers, and that this is the true chruch on the earth of Jesus Christ. That experience also reminded me that it doesnt matter who you are, what you have done, how your life was before, every child of God can recieve that same answer that Yemir got and that I too have recieved. She only had the faith that God exists, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Jesus Christ is her Savior and that was enough to get baptized. That truly is all any one person needs to know to enter the waters of baptism in order to recieve a remission of their sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Those waters heal us. Those waters healed Yemir of everything that happened in her past 20 years of her life and now she is starting a new life in Christ. I wish you could have seen her bright smiley face after she was baptized and later confirmed on Sunday. She is an example to me of true faith. We experienced another miracle yesterday as we challenged one of our investigators to be baptized. He had been waiting to get baptized so that he could do it with his family that is investigating as well in California when he goes back. But this man put his faith in Christ and accepted to be baptized this coming Saturday, without his wife and kids. He isnt letting anything get in the way of his desire to follow the example of his Savior. So we will be planning that baptism throughout the week and we plan to continue to baptize every week in this area because there are so many people waiting to hear our message and so many people who have the faith to follow their Savior Jesus Christ. Another fun thing we are doing in this area is offering service through teaching english. There is a sister in the ward here who is fluent and who teaches young adults in a small little school downtown. She has invited us once a week to come and have conversations with the people in english so they can practice speaking and understanding the accent. There are 6 students and they range from ages 15-28. They are really funny and love speaking with us. Obviously we are not allowed to talk to them about our church but when they ask us questions about it, we answer haha! So we actually had a really spiritual conversation the first time we went last week. We can tell that there are a few of them that are really interested in our message. We hope to start teaching some of them later but they would have to approach us and ask us to hear the message. But we are going to continue going there every week. It is really interesting though because I realized that people are more honest in a second language than their first. They dont have a very big vocab of english so they ask us very direct questions and really listen carefully to our answers. I have seen it with spanish as well. I feel I am able to be more honest in spanish and more direct sometimes which is perfect for being a missionary. Well I hope all is well with everyone and that you all have a great week. I know that the combination of the Book of Mormon and prayer can change a life in an instant and I extend the challenge to everyone who reads these letters to do what Yemir did and I promise you will get an answer because He has answered me.
Elder Stutz

Monday, January 23, 2012

El Perfecto Amor Echa Fuera el Temor

Hey Everybody,
Well this letter has some good news and some bad news. I will start with the bad. Last week as we were traveling to our district meeting I got a phone call from the assistants telling me i had special changes and that i had to be in Cuernavaca with my bags packed and ready to leave early the next morning. I was pretty shocked and bummed. After almost 7 months being in Tepoztlan I was being tranferred 3 weeks earlier than I anticipated. The worst part was that we got home from disrict meeting at 10 just enough time to pack and go to bed. So, I didnt get the opportunity to see or write the members or investigators from Tepoztlan. It was also very hard to leave my comp Elder Bangerter because I didnt get the chance to finish training him. So we arrived at the bus station and I found out that I had been assigned to serve in the state of Guerrero in Iguala, ward Tamarindos. I am now serving with Elder Pearson who was in the MTC with me. We got here on Tuesday to open the area and we were very warmly welcomed. It is CRAZY hot here, I think we are always in the 90s. It is completely different from Tepoztlán, a lot dirtier and smells bad but so far I love it!! The ward is amazing here!!! The first few days were a little tough, missing Tepoztlan and battling the heat but we are starting to get on a roll. We are actually very blessed because their is a young man in the ward, David, that is sending in his mission papers soon. He isnt going to school and isnt working either so he is basically our third companion. He is helping us get to know the area because it is also very big like Tepoz. He is super funny and knows some english which makes things fun. Elder Pearson is the MAN. He is from Richfield, Utah and is a super great singer and amazing missionay We became friends in the MTC and while traveling to Mexico and now we are companions! Pretty fun stuff!! What makes it even better is that we are opening the area so the members are so excited to finally have missionaries and to start sharing the Gospel with their friends again. They meet in the stake center here so it is really nice to have a chapel to meet in! We started our time here visiting the members and offering our services to them. We made a ton of great first impressions and won the confidence of the members quickly. On Sunday, we made little cards and passed them out to the members asking them for their address, name, telephone, and to mark the options that they can support and help the missionary work. The members responded well and now we have many of them so excited to share the Gospel with their friends. We also had the opportunity to speak on Sunday and I think our talks really inspired the members. We also taught the Gospel Principles class to an investigator and a couple less active members and our friend, David, helped us out with that. So it was a great Sunday and we already know a lot of the members! There are around 80 members that go to church and a ton less actives. There are a few really strong families that are very kind and helpful as well. The member support here is incredible and I can tell they really love the missionaries here. So even though it has been crazy hard to leave so many loved ones in Tepoztlan, Elder Pearson and I are loving the area here in Tamarindos and we are going to do some great things together for this area with the help of the Lord. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we share is for all people in all places. I know that as we love the people, we will not have any fear to be bold and to invite people to come unto Christ. Love you all lots!!! Have a fantastic week!
Elder Stutz

Monday, January 16, 2012

La Paciencia

Hey Guys!
Another good week of hard work. We were a little disappointed this weekend when Hugo did not end up getting baptized. Everything was going great leading to the baptism and he was super pumped. He showed up to the baptism a little late and pulled us into a room. He explained how things are a little rocky with his parents so he wants to talk to them and work things out before he gets baptized. At first I was bummed but as we continued talking I felt how much I loved him and desired the best for him. I saw that this event in his life is so important to him that he wants to make sure his parents can see it and can be at least more or less in agreement with it. We hope he can get baptized this coming week because he is so ready and so excited. To start the week we did divisiones with Zapata and I went with the District Leader, Elder Smith. It was our 4th division together and he is definitely my best friend in the mission so it went really well. We had a real successful day serving is his area and I learned a lot from him. He definitely reminds me a ton of some of my closest friends from home and we had a lot of great conversations about life. He is the man!! Elder Bangerter and I continue working hard here in Tepoztlan. It is difficult at times because Tepoztlan is a pure party town. There is a huge party every night with fireworks, drunks, music, etc. Not a lot of people are willing to change their traditions here but we know there are people out there ready and prepared to hear our message so we are doing everything we can to find. Sometimes this work requires a little bit of patience and I am learning to develop that Christ-like attribute right now. Hope everyone is doing well and is happy and making great decisions because I know when we obey the commandments we are happy!!! Love you all!
Elder Stutz

La Evidencia de La Restauración

Hey Guys!
Not too much time to write because we were traveling all day. Today we had the opportunity to go visit a bunch of pyramids in Galeana, Morelos called Xochicalco. It was awesome and I will send pics next week. We had a pretty good week this week. We are planning a baptism for the San Andres ward this week and we are way excited for Hugo! He has choosed me to baptize him so I am pumped for that. We had numerous lessons this past week where we felt the Spìrit so strong when sharing the first vision. We have had investigators feel the Spirit really strong as well and I know that by relating that experience of Joseph Smith always invites a powerful manafestation of the Spirit. We have a couple in Tepoztlan that have recieved their answer that the Book of Mormon is true and told us that they dont know why but feel that they need to be baptized. They arent married yet so we are going to help them do that and then they will get baptized, It is amazing how the Book of Mormon works. If a person reads and prays about it sincerely, he or she will feel the Spirit and know that it is true. And since it is real evidence of the Restauration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they will feel the neccessity to get baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ, just like what has happened with this couple. I gave a talk on that exact principle yesterday in Church and testified of the comforting power that the Book of Mormon gives us as well. I continue to treasure the time I have in the mission to study the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the words of the modern day prophets. My testimony continues to grow of this Gospel as Elder Bangerter and I continue to have very spiritual companionship studies. We are not alone in this great work because it is the Lords work. I testify that it is true and that it will move forward always. Love you all
Elder Stutz

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nuevo Año, Nueva Disposición

Feliz Año Nuevo a todos! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. We sure did as we lost power again haha! There has been some crazy wind storms in Tepoztlán at night so New years eve night we actually just went home early and went to bed! We really enjoyed this past week as we really felt that we were being guided by the Spirit to the people that have been prepared and the people that are willing to listen to our message. We found a lot of new investigators this past week through contacting and through working with the less active members because most of them are the only members in their respective families. We used the Book of Mormon better this week as well as we really focused on the need for our investigators to recieve an answer that it is true so that they will have that foundation of testimony for when they prepare to be baptized and continue in the Church throughout their lives. We did some service for a less active the other day, desgraining corn on the cob for a few hours. We cut up our hands pretty good but it was worth it to be able to talk about the Gospel with the family and get them excited again about coming to church. We also had an experience on Saturday with the Spirit. We were walking to an appointment and I saw a man washing dishes outside his house. The thought came to mind to ask him if we could help him. I choose to ignore the small little thought and we kept walking. Once we got a block away I told my companion that we needed to go back and help this guy wash his dishes. He accepted our offer and we washed for about an hour while talking about the Book of Mormon. He was pretty interested but I think it was the fact that we had brought the Spirit into his home with our attitude of service. One thing I love saying to the people here when we are offering service is `Hey we are representatives of Jesus Christ here in Tepoztlán and since Christ served His whole life, we are here to serve you. What can we do as representatives of Him for you and your family?` We have found a lot of success as we serve others and demonstrate charity, the pure love of Christ. Next week we have a baptism planned for Hugo, an investigator in San Andres. He is 21 and an amazing guy. He is working to overcome some addictions right now and is so stoked for his baptism!!! We are so excited for him and for his excitement and willingness to change his life around to be happier. I want to end with my testimony and new years resolution. I am very grateful and excited for this upcoming year. I love being in the service of my Savior Jesus Christ and being able to respresent Him here in Mexico. I love Him so much and now have a greater desire and dispostion to serve Him and work to become more like Him this year. I need to take advantage of this short time I have right now to develop Christ-like attributes in my personality and become the servant, priesthood holder, future husband and father that He needs and expects me to be. I love the work we do daily and find great joy in following the Spirit to the elect of God. Love you all and hope for the best this upcoming year!
Elder Stutz