Monday, March 19, 2012

El Estandarte de Libertad

Buenas Tardes!
We enjoyed a pretty good week this past week. We had our stake conference and witnessed the release of the stake presidency. Most of the members were really surprised by the choice of the new stake president but it seems like he is going to do a great job. Elder Tenorio, the same authority that came to our mission conference a couple weeks ago, spoke at the conference and the members loved his talk. Lidia and Olga, the mom and daughter of the family we are teaching right now, went to the conference and loved it. Lidia said she was so surprised by how many members there are of the church in Iguala and recieved a few answers to doubts she had about baptism. We are going to be working with that family all week so they can get baptized this weekend and sealed as a family in the temple in a year. They really are a great family and are so humble with the little money they have and in the little tiny shack they live in. They are growing so much spiritually by reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church and we have noticed a new light in their eyes and a more positive outlook on life. We continue to work a lot with the members, especially with the less-actives. A lot of people are starting to go to church again so we are excited about that! We also worked throughout the week with Eliseo. He got baptized and confirmed on Friday and is ready to head back to the US next week to return to his family and marry his future wife. The service was great and I have developed a great friednship with him in our time here. He showed a lot of faith by getting baptized and is so excited for life now. He also has a new look about him and seems a lot happier now. I loved studying this past week about Capitan Moroni in the Book of Mormon. He is one of my heros and I have learned so much from his words and example. In fact, I made my own title of liberty this past week to ensure that I will neverstop fight against the enemy of all righteousness. I love being on the front lines of God´s army here in Mexico and it is a daily fight. Sometimes when we dont have success in the mission, we think our efforts are not worth it. But I have learned that the things we do on a daily basis (our daily decisions) determine our eternal destiny and can even help the eternal destiny of others. We can either not fight today and wait for tomorrow to come, or we can make the choice TODAY to fight and experience all the blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us. I testify that the Lord is involved in His work and that He can help us as we ask Him for SPECIFIC help. I encourage everyone to plan what they can do individually TODAY to fight for what´s right and for the right side which will win in the end. Love you guys a ton! I appreciate the prayers!! Love
Elder Stutz

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nuestra Fuente de la Esperanza

Hey Guys!!!
Pretty crazy week this week! A little bit of getting sick, but no worries everything is good now! We also had a special conference in Chilpancingo with one of the 70, Elder Tenorio (see attached pic). Him and his wife taught us so many great things. His wife talked about Christ and she shared a quote that I loved 'a smile is a powerful weapon' And it really is. We can change someones day around with a smile, we can reflect the light of the joy of the Gospel that we receive from living it. Elder Tenorio taught me a few things. He taught me a lot about specific prayers. He reminded us that a prayer with faith is a prayer of thanks, a plan, and then a petition for a blessing. At the end of each prayer we should know what blessings we need and exactly what we need to do to receive that blessing and have the sure faith that we will receive that blessing. He also taught me that through hard work, concentration, prayer, and a joyful attitude we can accomplish anything we need to. And we can enjoy it as we do it.
This past week was a decent week for the work, due to the conference and a little sickness, we didnt have too much success but we did have some amazing experiences with a few investigators. We met with Eliseo again, I cant remember if I talked about him when we first got here but we were teaching him before because he was about to get baptized in the US but got sent back here to Mexico. He was waiting on divorce papers to get baptized and a miracle occurred. He had to pay thousands of dollars to get the papers completed and he has no money. But he had faith and suddenly, his ex wife paid it all and now the papers are ready for the divorce. So we met with him again this week and he told us he is getting baptized this week. He also asked me to give him a blessing of health because he has been having troubles lately. I felt the Spirit so strong when I gave him that blessing and we are really excited for his baptism this week. We also met with the Sanchez family a couple more times and they are progressing well. Olga, the 12 year old daughter, has read more than anyone in her family (and she is the youngest) and even wrote down all the questions she had from reading 1 Nephi. Her questions were so profound!! One of them was: How can we obtain peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come? We were too amazed for a second so we werent able to answer, but then we said, well you start by getting baptized. So she and her brother are preparing to get baptized in a week and hopefully their parents too. We also had a wonderful baptism of a 77 year old lady, Lina. She was the only one in her family not a member of the church but all her family members are inactive. This is the woman we gave that blessing to and she got better super quick. So she got baptized on Saturday and the service was amazing. On Sunday she recieved the Holy Ghost and I asked her how she felt and she told me she felt something in her body she had never felt before. She is a great example of faith considering her circumstances of not knowing how to read or write and being a little older, but still being able to recognize the feelings of the Holy Ghost in her heart. On Sunday, we spóke again in the ward and it went really well. Elder Pearson talked about compassion and told a lot of great stories and I spoke on Hope. When we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are filled with a perfect hope in our lives. In spite of the troubled world that surrounds us, we are able to be happy and enjoy living a righteous life. We have that sure hope because we know that we have the authority of God, which distinguishes us from all the other churches and religions. We know that by getting baptized by someone with the authority of God, that we can recieve a remission of our sins and feel the alleviating feeling of no regrets or doubts. I testify that Jesus Christ is our best source of sure hope, He is the light in our lives. Love you all and miss you guys a bunch!!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, March 5, 2012

Enséñame a Andar en la Luz

Buenas Tardes,
Hey hope everyone enjoyed their week. We had a pretty successful week this week of teaching and finding. Our two possible baptisms fell through but we are hoping for this next week they will be ready to make that life-changing decision. This past week, we focused a lot on families. We searched for families, we visited a lot of less-active families, and we prayed and fasted to find families and teach them. We found a very humble man this week that went to a baptism service of a family member in another ward. He was really touched by the experience and ask us to go to his house. We began talking with him and I have never talked to such an honest man. Within 5 minutes he told us his current life circumstances. His 16 year old daughter died a year ago in a car crash, his wife just got diagnosed with cancer and he got laid off of his job last week. This man was practically pleading for spiritual help because he felt so empty inside with all these trials. I could see the desperate feelings he had in his eyes and I know that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can help him regain his strength and find happiness amidst all these tribulations. So we are just starting to teach him and hopefully we can find the rest of his family this coming week. We are also teaching an awesome family right now that we found through a reference of our english class. They also have somewhat of a sad story. The mom has two kids of 15 and 12 years old and their dad left them about 11 years ago. She got together with another man named Juan and he has helped raise the kids and they just had a kid of their own that was born a week ago! They love what we teach, especially about eternal families and are preparing to be baptized at the end of the month. We also started teaching one of our neighbours and found out his wife is a member but hadnt gone to church for about 10 years. They got married about 2 years ago and have a little baby thats 1 years old. They are a great young couple and the husband is really interested in what his wife never wanted to share with him in the last couple years. He cooks us something every time we go visit him and also gives us rides when we need them in his car. He even took us and his family to church on Sunday and he really enjoyed it and has a lot of questions. His name is Hector and he is super cool, I feel like we would have been friends in high school or something haha.
In our fast on Sunday, we were praying that our investigators could make it to church because we had invited all of them and assigned a member to give them rides or send them taxis. As my companion was playing the prelude on piano and I was outside greeting everyone, our prayer was answered. One by one, in walked 11 of the people that we are teaching and preparing to be baptized. Also a lot of the less actives that we had visited during the week made it to church and the Cultural Hall was almost full in sacrament meeting when it is usually only about half full. So that was a huge belssing and a lot of the members bore strong testimonies of the Savior and missionary work. We teach the Gospel Principles class every week and we had all 11 investigators there and the Spirit was so strong as they learned by asking questions and making comments. It looks like we will have quite a few baptisms this month and we are expecting 3-4 this week. So the work is moving right along here in Iguala and I am loving it. With all this work with the families, I have been thinking a lot about eternal families and the temple. Although we focus a lot on helping people be bapitzed, I realized that my ultimate goal out here should be to help families get to the temple so that they can be sealed for time and all eternity. As we find these families, they are in darkness with all the trials they have. We first teach them about the love of the Savior and our Heavenly Father and teach them how to pray to Him. As we do that and they accept, a new light enters into their lives and in their home. As they are baptized and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost, the light of the Gospel shines in their eyes. But the real miracle occurs when they make that trip to the temple in Mexico City to be sealed as an eternal family. And as they make that step, their home becomes a celestial home and they can overcome any trial or problem that enters into their lives and live together happily forever and ever. As I have missed my family these past months, I have been frequently comforted by the knowledge and testimony that my family is sealed by the Holy Priesthood of God in His holy house, the temple. I know that we will live together as a family forever, even after death and that only through the true church of Jesus Christ it is possible. Love you lots and I love my family so much!!! Have a great week everyone!!!