Monday, June 25, 2012

El Que Es Feliz Permanecerá Feliz

Hey everyone!!!!
The Lord is blessing me and my companion so much right now and we are
really finding joy in our loving service here in Chilpancingo.  Last
week, Alma (our convert) told me that the confirmation she recieve
from me touched her heart and that the words I spoke were exactly what
she needed to hear.  I told her that the Lord speaks through us as
priesthood holders to His children here on earth. I remember feeling
the Spirit so strong during that confirmation and I knew that I was
saying things that came directly from the Spirit.  Throughout my
studies this week, I decided to accept the challenge the Elder Scott
gave us in the November conference to memorize more scriptures because
its like making a new friend everytime we do it.  I have been able to
enjoy the Spirit more throughout the day as my daily memorized
scripture helps me cast out bad and negative thoughts.  We worked
extremely hard this last week with the members, contacting, in
everything.  We were blessed for our efforts.  We have been able to
find and teach several families and we have had very powerful lessons
with them.  The Lord blessed us on Sunday when 16 people we are
teaching showed up to sacrament meeting.  The ward was so alive and
excited to see so many new faces and they did a great job
fellowshipping those that were there for the first time.  We taught
the Gospel Principles and Elders Quorum classes and they turned out
great, thanks to the Spirit.  The investigators loved church and
stayed all 3 hours.  We are so excited for them and we anticipate
several baptisms in the coming month.  This week, Andreas older
brother Alberto is going to get baptized.  He is 12 and has really
enjoyed reading the war chapters in the Book of Mormon and being with
the young men.  This week we will be very busy with several things.
We have a ward missionary activity on Friday.  We are doing a food
making contest.  The sisters in the ward are going to prepare their
personal Pozole (a very popular dish here) and their best dessert and
the bishop is going to judge who has the best of each.  We are also
going to have a tour of the church for those that are visiting.  We
are stoked for the activity and the ward seems excited too.  On
Saturday, we have our Counsel of zone leaders with our new mission
president.  He gets here Friday and we, the 20 zone leaders, have the
privilege of meeting him first and getting him settled in the mission.
In my studies this past week, I continued to study about what I
mentioned last week of the pain and sorrow we feel as servants of the
Lord when people do not accept nor live the Gospel.  I noticed this
past week that with all those prophets I studied, all experienced
similar experiences of
1. Feeling that pain and sorrow because of the sins and pride of the people
2. A new hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ
3. The desire to share this new hope with the world so that all may
have the opportunity to come unto Christ and be saved and happy.
Today, I wanted to thank all my friends and family for your examples,
friendship and love.  Thanks to your help, I have gained a personal
testimony of the Savior and His atoning power.  I know that all can be
saved, that the plan of the Father is meant for everyone.  I know
anyone can change for the better and that it will always and forver be
worth it when we achieve an eternal life with our Heavenly Father,
Jesus Christ, and our families.  Love you all!  Thanks for
Elder Stutz

Monday, June 18, 2012

Anímese Tu Corazón

Hey everyone!  Its been a very wet week from rain and baptizing!!!  We spent most of this week preparing our baptisms and also spent a couple days in Cuernavaca for our leadership counsel with President Spannaus.  We had a pretty funny experience on the bus when we were heading to Cuernavaca.  We got to the border of the states of Guerrero and Morelos where a police officer usually gets on to make sure there arent any problems with terrorism or narco trafficing.  This guy got on the bus and walked right up to us and asked us for our ticket and ids.  We were the only americans on the bus so it made us laugh that the skin color, shirt, and tie made us look a little suspicious.  But we had a great counsel with President Spannaus.  It was a very emotional day because it was our last day with him.  Many tears were shed but not before he gave us another great bit of advice for the future.  He talked once again about Moses and why the Lord, right before he died, basically told him that all his work was for nothing because all the people would go wicked after his death.  This talk went along with a lot of things that I have been studying personally.  It goes along with the experiences of Abinadi, Nephi, Enoch, and even Christ when He came to the Americas.  Each one of those great men knew of the wickedness of their bretheren and felt so much sadness in their hearts.  President Spannaus asked us a question:  Why would Heavenly Father tell that to Moses? (Deutoronomy 31:16)  Because He shares his sadness with us.  Heavenly Father has perfect love for us.  So when we choose to be disobedient, he feels so much sadness.  To become like Him we also must experience times of sadness.  Christ felt it in America when he remembered the sins of those in Jerusalem (3 Nephi 17:14).  This sadness for the wickedness of those around us is part of enduring to the end.  As missionaries, I have learned that the challenge is converting that sadness into something positive.  Enoch is a great example and help for us.  In Moses chapter 7, Enoch experiences this great sadness for the wickedness of the earth.  He even tells God that nothing will be able to comfort him (Moses 7:44).  But I love the Lords response to Enoch:  Lift up your heart, rejoice and look!  Enoch then sees the Redemption that Christ offers us.  He gains faith and his soul rejoices.  The ONLY comfort that can counteract the sadness we experience for the wickedness, lazinesss, and pride around us is the hope of the Atonement.  The Atonement that has already been done by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As we continue in this the Lord´s work, we can always have our heads lifted up high and our hearts rejoicing, despite all the people that didnt go to church, that werent at their house for our appointment, the members that didnt come to the baptism we had.  Despite all those things our hearts can always rejoice.  My heart certainly did rejoice when Alma and Andrea got baptized this past Saturday.  The rest of their family is about half inactive and half non member.  They have had a couple trials recently and decided to not support Alma and Andrea in their baptism.  A couple members showed up to support but the room looked pretty empty for the baptism.  Despite all this, Alma and Andrea were excited as can be to be baptized.  Elder Quinnelly baptized Alma and afterwards I baptized Andrea.  Alma shared her testimony after the ordinace and the Spirit was so strong.  I had the opportunity to confirm Alma on Sunday and it was a great experience.  I love this Gospel and am so grateful for the Atonement that can work in each one of our lives.  This Gospel and Atonement has completely changed Alma and Andreas lives and we hope to help out the rest of their family to become an eternal family one day through this great plan that the Lord has set up for us!  Love you all!  Have a great week!!! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Un Sacrificio Aceptable

Hey Everyone
Things are going well here in Chilpancingo.  We have been dealing with changes all day today, sending elders out and recieving others.  So most of the day has been spent in the bus terminal.  But we are excited for the changes that we had and we believe they will help us with the excitement and the success in the zone.  We continue to seek out the families in our area that need the Gospel in their lives and that are willing to act and make changes in their lives so that they can have eternal families.  We have found several families but its like the scriptures say, many are called but few are chosen.  We have seen the evidence of that in our area this past week.  We have found families and have taught them about eternal families and they all want that blessing in their lives.  But only a select few have been willing to act upon that desire by praying, reading, and going to church.  It is disappointing to see that laziness or pride gets in the way sometimes of families enjoying an eternal happiness together.  We are going to have a baptism this week of 2 people from the same family.  This lady and her niece are two of the few that are chosen.  They have gone to church consistently, they always read in the Book of Mormon, and they pray everyday.  With that sacrifice of time, they have been blessed with answers to their sincere prayers.  Alma, the 25 year old that is getting baptized, was blessed with a dream.  The night after we taught her about Joseph Smith and his first vision, she prayed to know if it was true.  That night she dreamed that two men put their hands on her head like the image of Joseph Smith recieving the priesthood that we had showed her.  The men were wearing white shirts with long sleeves and when they placed their hands on her head, she felt the Spirit and from that dream, knew that all we had taught her was true.  I know she recieved this answer because of her faith and her diligence in doing the simple things every day.  We took her to a baptism in the zone this past week and after the service she told me that she wanted to be in the water and that she is so excited for this next Saturday to be baptized.  I am grateful for those miracles that our Heavenly Father works in our lives and the lives of others to help them make the correct decisions, like getting baptized.  This past week, I spent a lot of time studying, praying, and thinking about my life and the mission.  I thought a lot about the priciple and doctrine of sacrifice.  As I studied the examples of sacrifice in the scriptures I learned so much and now feel more ready to give an acceptable sacrifice to my Heavenly Father during these 2 years.  As members of the true church of Jesus Christ, we have such a privilege and blessing with the happiness that we enjoy in the Gospel.  Our Heavenly Father expects us to sacrifice a little bit so that we can learn to be like Him.  As I read in the scriptures, I learned that the only difference between the sacrifices of Cain and Abel was FAITH and LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF THE LORD.  If we have faith in the will of the Lord and in His timing and if we listen closely to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, we will know what kind of sacrifice we need to offer to the Lord so that we can recieve eternal life.  I love the example of Joseph Smith when the Lord tells him in D/C 132 that he recieved his salvation because of the sacrifices that he made on this earth and for his willingness to always obey the Lords commandments to him.  I am grateful for the greatest sacrifice every made, the one of our Savior.  We too must sacrifice time and energy to be able to become like Him.  I pray that we can start today, because tomorrow will be too late.  I also hope that I am offering up an acceptable sacrifice to my Lord and King everyday of my life, not just in these two years.  I love you guys for helping and supporting me in that desire I have.  Have a great week!!!!!
Elder Stutz

Monday, June 4, 2012

La Disposición de Cambiar

Hey guys!
Another crazy week of changes.  On Tuesday, we got a call while eating, telling us we had special changes.  Elder Cornejo left an hour later to Iguala and Elder Quinnelly is my new companion.  Elder Quinnelly had just started as zone leader in Iguala but his skin couldnt take the sun in Iguala so pres changed him to Chilpancingo.  He is better now and ready to work.  He is from Kansas City and has a month less than me in the mission.  Out of all the zone leaders in the mission, we are the youngest 2.  He is shorter than me with red hair.  He is into sports and loves to talk.  So we get along well.  It was tough to say bye to Elder Cornejo, especially because we werent able to have a ton of success together but we know this is the Lords will.  Elder Quinnelly is pumped for this area and we are making a lot of changes here.  We are working really hard so that we are examples for the other 24 missionaries in our zone.  There are 3 missionaries finishing their mission this week from our zone so we will probably have a lot of changes this next week.  We also have our last Counsel with Pres Spannaus this friday in Cuernavaca so we are excited to recieve a final bit of instruction from him.  Despite all the changes this past week, we actually had quite a bit of success in our area.  We are doing all that we can to change things in the ward.  We both bore our testimonies this past Sunday and we could even see a slight difference in how the members looked at us after that.  They are slowly getting more excited and more willing to become friends with us.  Unfortunately, we didnt baptize this past week and I dont think we will this week either, but we found an amazing miracle this past week.  We were walking down this street and I got a feeling that we needed to knock a door.  I told my comp and we agreed to knock it.  The lady quickly invited us in and we began to try to get to know the family.  We found out that a lady in a wheelchair had suffered many accidents and sicknesses which left her in a wheelchair and that she had gotten baptized about 20 years ago and stopped going to church 15 years ago.  Her son, who also got baptized, is addicted to alcohol and had been looking for us the past week to help him out with his addiction.  Her daughter never got baptized because she was too young when her mom and brother did it and she is super interested.  So we taught them the plan of Salvation and also about the Savior and how He can help us overcome adictions.  It was a really spiritual lesson and there were even a few kids there that loved it.  THe daughter showed up on her own at church with her daughter and niece.  The daughter and niece are going to get baptized next week and are super excited.  The ward fellowshipped them really well on Sunday and the kids are already involved in a play that the primary is going to do.  They were all so happy at the end of the services.  I just wish all our inviestgators could go to church just once to feel that happiness.  I am grateful that the Lord gives us promptings through the Holy Ghost to help us help Him with His wonderous work.  Elder Quinnelly and I were able to have a huge family home evening with an inactive family of about 20 from the ward.  IT was really fun and spiritual and all promised to go to church the next day.  3 of them showed up and my heart was a little saddened.  But i made sure to tell the 3 that they would be blessed beyond measure for making that decision.  Despite all the things we have to do this week, Elder Quinnely and I are determined to work hard and work through the Spirit to be able to bring about the Lords work and glory here in Chilpancingo.  I love this work and enjoy it so much.  I miss all of you and trust you are well.  I invite all to continue to pray to Heavenly Father on a daily basis to develop a very personal relationship with Him because that relationship helps me all the time.  Love you all!
Elder Stutz