Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fwd: El Espíritu Nunca Nos Falla

Hey Guys
We had a pretty great week in Tamarindos this past week. We had zone conference with President and his wife on Thursday and learned quite a bit. About half of our zone consists of elders that are finishing the mission in the following months so I have many great examples around me right now. We continue to go to that English class to give service every week and we love talking to the kids in their broken english. It actually helps me be more talkative with my spanish because I can see that the kids that talk more in the class every week are the ones that are learning faster whereas the ones that are more shy arent talking as well. They are all great kids and we actually sang an english hymn 'Love at Home' with them this past week. They loved the hymn and a couple of them have even come to church and are getting interested. We had one baptism this past week of the young single mom, Elizabeth. Her cousin, that got baptized 2 months ago, baptized her so it was a really special event. Reina also came to the baptism and loved it. She told me after the service that the next baptism is going to be hers!! So we are preparing her for this week. Yemir and her family also got back from Mexico City this week and we found out that after doing many tests and going to multiple doctors, they did not go through with the surgery to remove the cancerous tumors because she has a lot of infection in that area of her body and they dont want it to spread to her whole body. So she takes some injections right now to clean that up so she can go into surgery at the end of March. Her mom shared with us a cool story though when they were in the hospital. It had been a really tough and painful week for Yemir and she was crying often. Her mom had forgotten to bring the hymn book with her and Yemir really wanted to sing a hymn to feel at least a little bit better. She had remembered all the hymns we would sing to her in the lessons and really wanted to sing. Suddenly she saw an older couple walking around with a hymnal of the church in their hands. Her mom asked them if they could borrow it and the old couple came over and sang to and with Yemir. They talked with her, shared their testimonies with her (the older lady was also a cancer survior) and stayed with her the rest of the day. The hymns of the church really do bring a special spirit and they sure set the tone for every lesson that we teach during the week. I loved something that Sister Veronica (super member missionary) told us this week. We were going to go visit a bunch of inactive families with her and she was trying to decide where we would go because we only had an hour before our next appointment. I remember directly asking her, 'Herman, Quién nos necesita HOY?' or 'sister, who needs us TODAY?' She immediately knew who we needed to see so we left. We got to the house after traveling aways and found a lady laying down on her bed, super sick. This lady is not a member of the church but her family is. She told Veronica that she had been calling her all week to come pick her up from her little tiny house (more like a shack) and take her to the hospital because she had a fever for that whole week and was really suffering. We offered to give her a blessing of health and afterwards, Veronica took her to the hospítal. The sister is now back at her house recovering and told us on Saturday that she wants to get baptized!! Veronica said something that really struck me after that experience 'El Espíritu nunca nos falla!' 'or the Spirit never fails us'. She recieved that idea or revelation, whatever you want to call it, so that we could go see her and help her get to the hospital. Who knows, she could have died if she didnt get that medical help in time. That is exactly what we get to do everyday here in the mission, save those who are sick spiritually. Most of the people dont realize they are 'one of the sick ones', but after their baptism, their life changes and they are so much happier. That is what separates us from all the rest of the missionaries out there in the world, reprensenting various churches. We have the Spirit with us, testifying that what we say and teach is true. We dont have to convince anyone, the Spirit speaks to them through feelings and those who have faith, act and get baptized. These particular individuals are blessed beyond measure and I have seen it often here in Mexico. Love you all
Elder Stutz

Seáis como Niños

Hey Guys!
We had a pretty great week here in Iguala, the sun is slowly getting more and more blazing and we continue working with several people so that they can come unto Christ and be baptized by someone holding the authority of God. We have a few baptisms planned for this week. One of them is Elizabeth. She is 18 years old and has a 4 year old daughter. She is a single mom and lives in the middle of nowhere very far away. Her family members live in another ward in the stake and they got baptized about a month ago. So she started going to Church with them and loved it. We started teaching her this week, she prayed to recieve an answer if this Church is the true church of Jesus Christ and got an answer. She has amazing faith and will be a great member of the church. She is going to be baptized by her brother in law (that just got baptized himself) on Friday. We are also preparing Reina to be baptized this week, I think I have talked about her in past emails but she continues to love church and is struggling with a couple things emotionally but improves every time she comes to church or everytime we meet with her. Her member friends are a huge support for her throughout the week and on Sundays when they pick her up. we are also searching for many miracles and praying so that a few other people can make that life changing decision of being baptized this week. We had a great ward activity this past week, a very successful Talent Night. There were a few people that sang and danced. We sang a song we made up about our Sheperd Poster that was to the tune of Called to Serve that turned out pretty funny and also we sang a hymn in spanish to the tune of If You Could Hie to Kolob. Elder Pearson is teaching we a ton about singing and music so I am slowly getting a better singing voice haha. We are also working a lot with a family in the ward. The parents are members but have been inactive for about 15 years. None of the kids are members still because they hadnt gone to church in a long time. The dad served a mission but afterwards fell away from the church. We started visiting them about a month ago and they have been coming to church ever since. Some of the kids are teenagers and a little rebellious so they dont really want to come to church still but we are working with them so that they can learn and get baptized. We had a Family Night with them this past week adn afterwards the dad started talking to us about his mission. He started telling us stories from his mission that he was just barely remembering since he was a missionary. We could see how happy he was, thinking about the families he baptized and the companions he had and it was great to see that. Elder Pearson and I continue to teach very well together, he is very good at using examples in his teaching so that people can understand better and I can usually listen well to the people and figure out their doubst so that they can overcome them and be baptized. We had one baptism this last week, a 9 year old kid in the ward that hadnt been baptized because his parents are inactive. He is awesome and I learned quite a bit from him this past week. We taught him just as we teach everyone, very simply and with examples, and he understood better than most of the people we teach. Just like most kids, he is very humble and a great example for us. We must follow the Saviors commandment to be like the children. We must be humble as they are and willing to do the things that our Heavenly Father asks us to do. Miguel was willingly to do what his Father in Heaven wanted and he got baptized by someone having the authority of God. He is a great kid and in his baptism, I imagined him as a missionary, helping people and families come unto Christ like we are doing now. I really hope he does serve a mission someday because he would be a great one.
I know that we have a purpose in being here on this earth. I know that our Father in heaven sent us here to experience the joys and pains of this life. We are here to follow the example of Jesus Christ so we can return to live with Him, our Father in Heaven, and our families forever. the first thing we can do to follow our Savior is to be baptized by domeone having the authority of God, then we continue living our best so we can stay in the path of the Savior, have peace and happiness in this life, and eternal life in the life to come. Hope everyone has a great week and I would love to hear how people are doing back home with school, work, marriages, all that good stuff!!! Love you all!!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, February 13, 2012

Somos Los Pastores

Happy Valentines Day everyone!
We had a great week here in Tamarindos. To start off, we baptized one of my favorite converts, Otilia, on Saturday and was confirmed on Sunday. We met her 4 days before her baptism! She is the mom of Brother Oscar in our ward who is the dad of Yemir, the girl that got baptized last week. She was living in Mexico City and just barely came to live with Oscars family here in Iguala. She had been to church a few times before and had read the Book of Mormon 3 times in the last few months!!!!!! She is also 77 years old!!!! She is amazing to say the least. Our lessons with her during the week were the funniest and most enjoyable lessons of my whole mission. We actually challenged her to be baptized on Feburary 18th and she accepted, but when we visited her the next day she told us she couldnt wait and that she needed to be baptized this saturday!!! I was amazed by her faith and determination to follow her Savior. She really likes to talk so she would always crack funny jokes in the middle of the lessons about the Book of Mormon or her family members so it really was a great joy to send a lot of the week working with her. She also has a huge testimony of us being authorized servants of the Lord. She would always check and make sure if it was okay if she made a comment or asked a question and would always call us 'the authorized ones'. I could not believe the faith and the humility of this old woman, she has changed my life for the better. Her baptism service went perfect. We sung her her favorite song, Más Cerca Dios de Ti, during the service and tears were streaming down her face as she tried to hold in the great emotions she was feeling at her baptism. Her son baptized her (thats two baptisms for someone who has been a member for 2 months!!!) and she came out of the water so happy. She was beaming the next day at her confirmation and thanked us from the bottom of her heart for allowing her to be baptized by someone having the authority of God. Her son continues to try to spread the Gospel to his 8 other brothers and sisters that live in various parts of the country and we have felt the Spirit so strong in the home of that family. Yemir, our baptism from two weeks ago, acutally left to Mexico City yesterday with her mom to go through some surgeries. They found out a day before Otilias baptism that the tumores that Yemir has in her body are cancerous. With that news recieved, this young girl, recently baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost, has kept a smile on her face ever since her baptism. She told us that everything will turn out fine because she has changed her life around to follow Christ and is on the road to eternal life. We are going to be praying for her all week as she goes through those surgeries.
I also want to talk a little bit about a rockstar member missionary in our ward. It is this older lady who has more enthusiasm for missionary work than anyone that I have ever seen. Her name is Veronica and is taking us to meet many inactive members and their non member friends. She constantly has a smile on her face and challenges the people to be baptized before we can even enter into the house!!! Every Sunday, she goes and picks up some of our investigators so they can get to church. She is one of the happiest people I have ever met and I know it is becuase she constantly shares the Gospel, without any fear. She is an example for me!
On Sunday, we had the opportunity to speak in Chruch again. The Bishop told us late Saturday night so we didnt really prepare, just spoke. But the Holy Ghost worked through us and Elder Pearson spoke powerfully about service and I talked about Sheperds. I talked about how Christ is the Good Sheperd and that he has challenged us to join Him and be sheperds as well to find those lost sheep and bring them back to Christ. Elder Pearson and I came up with an idea to animate the members to continue working with us in this great work so that we can continue to find people to come unto Christ. Our project is called 'Somos Los Pastores' or We are the Sheperds. I sent a picture of it but it is something we made with one of the sisters in the ward. The sheep are our investgators and the sheperds are the members that are fellowshipping the investigators. When the people get baptized, we put their sheep next to Christ with a picture of their baptism. The point is to give recognition to those that have helped us, show which investigators still dont have sheperds to take care of them (come to the lessons, pick them up for church, etc.), and motivate the members to become sheperds and invite their family members and friends to learn more about the Gospel. We have high hopes for it and we think it will really unite this ward in this marvelous work. We also taught our usual Gospel Principles class and taught the Primary as well which was really fun and exciting to say the least. I love being able to help the Good Sheperd by being a sheperd myself and helping these people come unto Christ so they can find rest and peace in this life and the life to come. I know that as we share the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with those around us, we will be happy and rejoice with those that chose to take that step of faith by being baptized by someone with the priesthood authority of God. I love this work and we are ready for another great week here in Iguala! Love you all!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, February 6, 2012

Los Poderes del Cielo

Hey Everyone!
We enjoyed a good, hot week here in Iguala. We taught a ton of lessons and have many people getting prepared to be baptized this month of February. We started teaching a lady who is a friend of one of the members. She came to church once and LOVED it. She said she has been to many churches and felt something in our church very distinct. She has been struggling with many problems in her life. She has a few health problems that cause her to always have a migraine. She told us this past week that when she went to church, her migraine left as soon as she entered. She has had a tough life since she was forced to be married at the age of 15 to someone 35 years older than her. So she has had a life without the opportunity to choose for herself. The only thing standing between her and the waters of baptism is her husband who doesnt like the church. But we are going to continue to pray and fast for her. She has such a sweet spirit and actually reminds me a lot of my mom for some reason. Our ward actually got together in a united fast yesterday for those that are sick physically or spiritually. One of these people we fasted for is the young lady that was baptized 2 weeks ago. She found out she has multiple tumors in her reproductive system and one of them has grown very big. It has been tough for her and her family but ever since she got baptized and recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost, she has always had a smile, despite all the health problems she has. We had the opportunity to visit quite a few less actives this week and sang hymns with them every time. It is amazing the kind of spirit hymns can invite into the houses we visit. On both occasions when we sang with less active, they began to cry in the hymns, realizing that they need to come back to church to fully use the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ in their lives. So my testimony of Hymns has grown a lot and I love singing with Elder Pearson because his voice makes up for my lack of talent.
Unfortunately, our baptism for this past week fell through because of a very long story with getting divorced and stuff so we are going to try to build his faith this week so he can be baptized this weekend. We have another baptism for this saturday we hope of a husband of an inactive member that is just getting active again. We were able to give their little baby a blessing for health yesterday night and I think it really touched both of them. We have had several opportunites this past week to use the Lord´s priesthood to bless others lives. We gave several people blessings for physical health, stress, or simply for comfort. I know that we do indeed hold the holy priesthood of God and it is only found in the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that this Priesthood is more powerful than anything in this world, if we are living worthy as it´s holders. I know that our Heavenly Father works miracles through His chosen servants on the earth today because I have witnessed it. I sure do love this work. If it ever does end, (Im trying to trick myself into thinking that it will never end) the mission will continue afterwards and I will continue helping the Lord bring souls unto Christ so they can be eternally happy. This is a Gospel of happiness, it is the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, and I love it. Hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Stutz