We had a pretty good week here in Chilpancingo. Elections are going on here for national president and also president of Chilpo so its kinda crazy in the streets sometimes. We have also started to have some rain and its supposed to get worse in the coming weeks. My comp and I had an eating contest with enchiladas. I ate 16 and he broke the Heroico ward record with 32 enchiladas. He threw up right after the last bite!!! Yesterday, we had stake conference here in
Chilpancingo. The stake is made up of 14 wards and branches so they just had one session of conference and did a transmission to every building. Unfortunately, the internet had problems so we missed about half of each talk that was given. But I did really love a talk that President Spannaus gave in this conference about repentance and the need we have to repent DAILY. He read Ezequiel 33 in his talk and mentioned that as members of the church, we are not perfect. We have to rely on the merits of Christ daily and use his Atonement often. That is something I have had to do in these past few weeks with this new area and with the call to lead this zone of missionaries. Elder Cornejo and I have seeked and recieved a lot of revelation for the zone and for our investigators. As we have studied the scriptures like we have never studied them before, the Lord has revealed to us His mysteries that have helped us fulfill and magnify our callings. We had a great meeting after our zone conference with the district leaders of our zone about Goals. We talked about the difference between hope and faith. Before this past week, I thought they were basically the same thing. I learned from Hebrews 6 and Ether 12:4 that hope is a result of knowing the blessings of the Lord that we will recieve by completing a goal or covenant with the Lord. As we make goals in the mission, we make a covenant with the Lord to complete it and He convenants with us to bless us. So we invited all of the missionaries of the zone to search the scriptures and recieve revelation so that they could make a list of the blessings that the Lord promises them if they complete their goals in the month of June. We are excited for this coming month and as a companionship, we found numerous blessings that the Lord will give us if we complete our goals this coming month. Elder Cornejo and I have also really enjoyed contacting lately. We actually went to the Sisters area this week to help them out by contacting. Because of travel, we were only left with 20 minutes to contact in their area. So my comp and I went to this abandoned house to pray to seek for guidance. We said a very specific prayer, expressing to the Lord that we wanted to find a family that was willingly to listen to us and that had the need of the Gospel in their lives and that we would feel peace in our hearts when we passed by that familys house. So after the prayer we set off and the 3rd house we passed, we felt like we should knock adn a family of five opened up and after a 2 minute contact they were excited to hear our message. So we called the sisters so they could pass by and teach them. So we went 1/1 that day with our contacts and we know it was because of our faith, our specific prayer, and the miracles of the Lord. Right now, we have about 5 families that we are teaching and we are going to find more this week. I appreciate your prayers and love you all! I know that this church is true and that salvation can be achieved through Christ and His authority and His church!
Monday, May 28, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Well, this past week we lost a few days of work planning the zone conference that we had on Thursday. The zone conference turned out amazing! President Spannaus and the missionaries loved it so it was worth all the time to plan it well. President talked a lot about forgiveness and how we can be forgiven everyday for our weaknesses. He talked about how when we use the Atonement in our lives, we reach a higher level of light and truth. We become happier people and we begin to have a more eternal perspective in our lives. Elder Cornejo and I taught the missionaries how to have more powerful lessons with the members. We taught them that they must plan ahead of time with the member to be able to teach with unity and let the member participate in the lesson through teaching and inviting their friends to read, pray, and go to church. We used the example of Alma and Amulek in the Book of Mormon to teach this principle. It turned out really well actually and the whole conference in itself was amazing. It happened at the right time because last week, our whole entire zone didnt have a baptism planned. President got a little mad because its the biggest zone in the mission and we should be baptizing a lot more. So he made us a promise that there was going to be at least one baptism that week in the zone. My comp and I took that promise very seriously and went to work. With the help of the Spirit, we were able to find a young man that is 12 years old to be baptized. His parents are inactive members but the Lord had prepared them and his son so that he could be baptized that week. It was truly a miracle. We met with him friday and saturday to prepare him and Luis Fernando was baptized Sunday morning. Elder Cornejo baptized him and I confirmed him in sacrament meeting. He told us he felt so clean that day and he is now getting ready to recieve the Aaronic priesthood. His family also looked happier being in Church again. This experience strengthened my testimony that when we give all we can, the Lord works a miracle. At the beginning of the week, I was feeling a little down because we were spending all our time preparing and zero timing preaching the Gospel. I was praying all week that the Lord would bless us for this sacrifice of time we were giving so that our area would still have success despite the lack of time. Well, the miracle happened and I know God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. Love you all and keep praying and looking for the miracles in your lives.Elder Stutz
Monday, May 14, 2012
Happy Mothers Day to all those mothers out there!!!! I attached a photo of a drawing my companion did for all the moms this week. It comes from 2 Timothy 1:5 when Paul is telling Timothy that the faith he has came from his mother and grandmother and I know that is true in my life as well. My mom and grandparents have been great examples for me of faith and enduring through trials. My mom and grandmas have been some of my closest friends throughout my life and I am so grateful for them! Thanks to all the mothers out there!We have had a busy week and will have an even busier one this week. Right now we are planning our zone conference that we will have on Thursday. Despite of all our zone responsibilites, we are really working hard in our area. Yesterday we passed out little cards to the members asking for their personal information and how they want to support the missionary work. We got a lot of great responses and I think the members are going to be the key to finding more success in our area. One brother actually wrote on the back of his card ¨thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to recieve blessings from sharing the Gospel¨ So we are excited to start working with the members more. We also got the opportunity to eat some Iguana this past week!!! There wasnt that much meat and it basically tasted like chicken so it wasnt to exciting haha. Right now, Elder Cornejo and I are praying and fasting to find a family of 4 to baptize. We had a really cool experience while looking for that family. We decided to climb the mountain in our area to pray to the Lord to guide us as we looked for this family. After the prayer, we both felt impressed to go down this steep hill with a little path. It had a lot of loose dirt so I actually fell and got super dirty haha. But we got to the bottom of the hill and there was just one small little shack down there. So we knocked and taught the 4 people that were there. A couple days later we went back and taught the 4 again with 2 other members of the family that were there. The hard part about teaching them is that they speak just a littlebit of spanish. They are from the mountains of Guerreo so they speak a dialect language called Tlapaneco. It is a really difficult language that sounds kind of like Japanese. The dad of the family knows enough spanish to be able to translate but we are also trying to learn some of the dialect to be able to teach better. To say hi you say WAZA. To say bye it is BASHID. To say faith it is NANDATAYA. To say baptism it is NEGOMASACURAMA. We are trying to find a dictionary for the dialect but we havent been able to find one yet. The miracle of this story is that the Spirit has been very strong in the lessons as we have prayed hard so that they can understand. Not only have they understood but they have accepted a baptismal date and we think this may be the family we have been looking for. I know that God works miracles through our faith. If we dont have faith before the miracle, it wont happen. Love you guys tons!Elder Stutz
Monday, May 7, 2012
We had an excellent week of training! All day Monday and Tuesday we were helping the elders with changes and preparing our things for consejo in Cuernavaca. On wednesday we left to Cuernavaca early with the district leaders in our zone and traveled all day with lay overs at the bus stations. We got there and stayed the night with some elders in Cuernavaca and woke up early on Thursday for our training. It was an awesome two day training as all the zone and district leaders were there from the mission. We learned a lot about the doctrine of Christ and real mission success. President Spannaus taught us amazing things in those two days and it changed my mission and even my life. President talked about Moses and his story with the children of Israel. He mentioned that Moses always did his best even when everyone didnt believe. Moses also didnt get the chance to see the promised land, he died before then. The Lord, right before he died, also told him that his people would fall into wickedness and wouldnt be saved. President then connected that to our mission. He asked us how we would feel if at the end of our mission, the Lord told us that all our converts would go inactive. It was a pretty emotional talk we had but he helped us realize that sucess in the mission isnt measured by number of baptisms, leadership positions, or number of active converts. We are here to do the Lords will. True success in the mission is measured by how much our relationship with Christ increases. I am going to be focusing even more on that relationship in this next year of the mission. So I have only had one or two days in my new area but I like it so far. It was good to meet more members on Sunday and we actually experienced a miracle on sunday. We were fasting that a lady in Tixtla would get confirmed even though we arent able to go to there services. We are in charge of that area since it is closed right now. We got a text from the branch president after there services saying she got confirmed so we were stoked about that! Miracles are always happening and I am super excited for this next week to finally work in our area! Love you all! Sorry for such a short email, we got tons of things to do!!!
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
We had a great week in Tamarindos this week, finding various families through the members that seem really interested. Unfortunately our baptisms fell but it was still a successful week! Saturday brought interesting news when I found out that I was going to Chilpancingo to be zone leader over 26 missionaries. I was pretty sad about leaving Tamarindos but Elder Pearson and I worked real hard there and we feel great about the work we did in the ward. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to say bye to a lot of the members and we shared some tears. There are some amazing families over there and I felt like I was saying bye to my own family as I left. David, the guy who got the mission call, cried a lot and we exchanged ties to remember eachother. I think he is my best friend here in Mexico. So we woke up super early to head out to chilpancingo which is about 2 hours away from Iguala. It is a lot cooler here than Iguala and the stake is very strong. It is the biggest zone in the mission with the most missionaries and I am pumped to be here. My new companion is Elder Cornejo from Sinaloa, Mexico. He seems really cool and has already been in this area for 6 months so he knows it well. I have a lot to learn right now but I am just trying to take it slow and enjoy it. Most of the elders in this zone are mexican so hopefully my spanish will be improving a lot in these next weeks. We are in the Heróico (heroic) ward. It is a decent size ward of about 120 active members. We actually went to eat with a sister today and they pulled a little prank on me because i am new. They gave me the gatorade shower of water so I have been pretty soaked all day. But it was pretty funny! Elder Pearson stayed in Tamarindos and he will be training an american missionary that is going to start his mission there. Everything is happening very fast and I am just trying to keep up haha. We are going to instruct the elders tommorow in a special meeting to start the new change so we are going to plan for that tonight. We are also going to have a special meeting with President Spannaus and all the zone leaders for two days in Cuernavaca this week to train us. I am excited to learn a lot from him. I think thats about it that is going on here. I will be appreciating your prayers in these next weeks as I will have the opportunity to learn how to be a better leader of service and love. I know that the callings we recieve in the church are to bless the lives of others but we as well learn how to serve and love. We can become more like the Savior in these opportunities. I hope to grow a lot in these next months as I continue to strive to become the missionary that my Father in Heaven needs me to be. Hope everyone is doing well as the school year is coming to a close. Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers in my behalf! Love you guys a ton!
Well, we enjoyed quite an excellent week here in Iguala. We started off with some family home evenings that we did with the members of the ward and their friends. We played a fun new game that we had never tried before in a family night. It is the game of telephone when a phrase gets passed around a circle of people through whispering and by the end, its a completely different phrase. So we played that and had a lot of fun. But at the end, we played a special round with a new rule. If you didnt know what the phrase was (if you didnt hear it or understand it) you could go back to the person who started the phrase and ask them what it is. Every person had to do it and we finished with the correct phrase at the end. We related this game to repentance, or having a change of heart to obey the commandments of God. When we wait to repent or get baptized, the phrase (or our lives) gets worse. But we always have the option to start over, go back to the beginning and start to obey the commandements again. TODAY is our day to repent, not tomorrow. So we really enjoy it and I think the members did too. We also had a special mission conference on Tuesday in Acapulco. So i saw the beach for the first time on the mission!!!! The conference was pretty amazing because we had three members of the quorom of the 70 there to speak to us. They gave us great counsel and we felt the Spirit strong. One of the best parts for me was seeing my old companions. It was great to see Elder Oswald and Elder Bangerter. They both look great and are having success. I also talked with Elder Smith a lot and he gave me a sweet tie with a really nice note on the back. That guy is the man! I love those 3 guys so much! Elder Pearson and I really enjoyed a great week of working with the members. Everything we do everyday is based around the members. Everyone we are teaching are friends with members, every lesson we teach we bring a member, and every person that gets baptized, gets baptized by a member. We are trying to keep this ward excited and I think it is working. This past week we tried something new with a lot of families in the ward that we hadnt worked with so much yet. With those people we would usually invite them to invite their friends to do a family home evening with us but most of them would express doubts. Doubts of lack of time, lack of friends, lack of interest of their friends. Once they would do that, we would just simply ask them, Would it be alright if we sung you guys a hymn? We prepared a few special numbers for the week and sung for all those members with doubts, right there in their home. It brought the Spirit so strong and so fast every time. After the hymn we would just wait in silence for the members to say something. Almost everytime, the member would say, actually elder I think it would be good if we did a family home evening with you guys, or, you know what elder I actually do know someone that I could invite to the family night. It went really well and I am super grateful for the spirit that singing brings so strong and so fast.
Today, I would like to share something with you guys that happened to me this past week. It changed my life. We went with the sister in our ward that always shares the Gospel, one night. She expressed many trials that she is going through right now and they are really tough trials. Afterwards, I asked her, Sister, if you have so many trials in your personal life, why do you participate in missionary work so much? Her answer was beautiful. I cant share everything she said but I left with three main points that she mentioned. I think these 3 points are the key to developing the desires to share the Gospel.
1. Her understanding of the doctrine of Christ. She understands that Christ paid for our sins and that we can recieve a remission of our sins by being baptized by someone having the authority of God. If someone is not baptized that way, or does complete with their covenants or promises with God, they cannot achieve eternal life, or live with God and their family forever
2. Her pure love for God, Jesus Christ, and everyone else. This sister talks to random people in buses and taxis to make more friends. She has a sincere love for everybody. She wants everybody to be as happy as she is.
3. Her personal experiences with the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For this point I will not share with you what she said, but I will share my personal experience.
I am a very imperfect person. I have made a ton of mistakes in my life. I have had the opportunity to repent through baptism and prayer. I, like this sister, have recieved a remission of my sins several times. Without this great gift of the Atonement, I wouldnt be the person I am now. I would have no hope and no faith. I know because of personal experiences that I have had that Jesus Christ lives and that He is our Savior. And that is why I love what I do. I love sharing the one thing that has changed my life and made me a very happy person so that others can experience the same joy. I love you guys a bunch!!!!