Tuesday, August 28, 2012

El Corazón Alegre Hermosea el Rostro

Hey Guys
We had another abnormal week with sicknesses, divisions, and interviews.  The first half of the week was spent in the house because my comp was sick (he is all better now).  After those couple days, I went to Galeana to do divisions with Elder Mijares.  He is my friend from back when I was in Tepoz so it was fun to work with him in his area.  The next day, I went to Chichihualco to do a few interviews and unexpectedly stayed there for a day in order to find the people that were going to get baptized.  Elder Bergen, also a friend from earlier in mission (Iguala), was my companion that day and we were able to find the 3 people and they passed their interviews and got baptized on Sunday!!  That day we also taught a girl named Courtney from Idaho who just moved down here to Mexico with her boyfriend.  She is fluent in both languages but prefers english so we taught her and her boyfriend in english.  I was making more mistakes teaching in english than I do teaching in spanish!! haha It was so hard for me to teach in english and I had a huge headache by the end of it after having to translate from spanish to english in my head haha.  But they are super cool and I think they will progress well.  On Saturday, Elder Quinnelly and I were back in our area and we did some service for Almas brother, Javier, who is an inactive member of about 20 years.  We went up to a house that he has been trying to sell ever since his wife died tragically, to clean it out and get it ready to show to some perople that are interested in buying it.  After the service we struggled to find the people we wanted to find last week like references and other new investigators.  It was a tough day but throughout the day when I was feeling a little down I would say a quick prayer in my head for comfort.  Evertime I did so, the Lord would send me a tender mercy.  Sometimes it was a scripture that I had memorized earlier, other times it was a cute little baby that smiled at me etc.  I know the Lord doesnt ever abandon us and that He is greatly involved in the work we do.  Yesterday, we were able to have ward council and we helped the ward leaders gain a greater vision of how the missionary work in the ward should be.  I feel like this ward is going to progress so much in these next few months becuase they are going to be the missionaries and we will just be there to support them and help them out.  This past week we were hoping for a baptism of a 10 year old kid whose mom is a great member and his dad is just barely starting to investigate the church.  We were working with them throughout the week and I specifically fasted and prayed for them.  Well, the kid decided not to get baptized but we made progress.  I know that one day that family will be an eternal family.  I have developed so much love for these people that I just want to see them in heaven and I want them to live happily in this life.  Although I wont see all the fruits of our labors while Im here, I know that one day I will see some of these people in the kingdom of heaven and we will rejoice together.  My companion and I are excited for this last week of the change and for the opportunity to work together everyday.  We are going to work happily and with the Spirit so that others will naturally want what we have to offer.  I know this work is true and that all can participate in it and experience great joy.  Love you all!!!!
Elder Stutz 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Amar, Servir, Enseñar

Hey Guys
We enjoyed a busy fun week.  On preparation day we had our zone soccer tournament and had a ton of fun.  We have a great group of elders here right now and they are all great friends of mine.  On Tuesday, we received some more special changes as President opened the village Zumpango again.  So two new missionaries arrived and we took them to their area and showed them around.  The members there were waiting for quite a while anxiously to have missionaries there again so they received the elders with open arms.  They are excited to work there because the members are so willing to work with them.  As we were heading to the bus station there in Zumpango to travel back to Chilpo, a man contacted us in English and we found out he is from Denver.  He is there visiting his family because they are from Zumpango and he was looking for a church there.  He told me to visit him when I get home from the mission and he seems like a really cool guy.  We were able to meet his family and invite them to go to the church there in Zumpango.  On Wednesday, we did divisiones with Obrera.  I went with our district leader Elder Gray in his area and we enjoyed a fun day together.  He is super cool and we enjoyed getting to know each other better.  On Thursday, we spent the whole day planning our zone conference that we had on Friday.  President Kusch and his wife came and we had a very successful zone conference.  Everything turned out well  and I learned so much about working with members and local leaders of the church.  My companion and I are trying to put into practice what we learned and we are confident that we will have more success by doing it.  I taught a workshop about gaining the trust of the members and it was entitled Love, Serve, and Teach.  Those are the principles that we must use to gain the trust of the members so that we can teach their family members and friends.  President told us that our capacitations were the best ones he had seen from the other zone conferences they had had and I really did feel the Spirit so strong in the conference.  On Saturday we went to the stake primary talents night and watched our wards primary perform a skit of the story of Ammon from the Book of Mormon.  Alma´s daughters participated and they did such a great job.  Little Barbie (4 year old daughter) dressed up in a sheep costume and got scattered by the Lamanites haha.  It was pretty cute.  We had a very spritual experience with some members on night after their grandma had died.  Ambar, Luis and Jesus are all converts of about a year and their ages range from 23-30.  The rest of their huge extended family is catholic and isnt interested still in the church.  They were sad to see their grandma die but with their new knowledge of the plan of salvation and the missionary work in the spirit world, they were able to accept the situation better than their family members.  What makes them the most sad right now is the hard hearts of their family members.  But they have always been great examples for them and I am confident that after this experience, the family will be more open to talk to us.  But the night we went to go talk to them we offered a kneeling prayer with them and the husband of the grandma that died who cannot hear or speak.  He had never tried to communicate with us before but after the prayer, his eyes were filled with tears and he was making noices that sounded like he was trying to thank us.  It was a very spiritual moment for all of us and I will never forget it.  On Sunday, we had 7 investigators come to church and we had a great lesson in Gospel Principles.  We taught about prophets and Alma was the only member there with all the investigators.  The investigators were expressing a lot of doubts and questions about Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson and Alma boldly shared her testimony that she knows that it is all true and she even told us how she came to know that it is true.  The Spirit was so strong as she did so and the investigators seemed amazed at the confiction of this recent convert to the church.  She hasnt missed a Sunday since her baptism and every week she gets her 4 kids dressed and ready by herself and drags them to church.  She is a truly converted convert to the church.  She even recently bought a white shirt and tie for her one year old son who looks super cute now at church.  If that family is the last family that I baptize here, I will still rejoice in the progress that has been made with her and the great change that has happened in her life the last couple months.  I love you guys lots and I appreciate your prayers on my behalf.  Have a great week!!
Elder Stutz      

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sé en Quien He Confiado

Hey Guys
We have had a rainy and cloudy week here in Chilpo which has been a blessing because its not so hot.  We went to the zoo last p day with about half of the zone and had a lot of fun.  It is a small cheap zoo but we convinced the director to give us a special tour and we were able to get up close and personal with a lion!  So that was pretty sweet and I think the elders had a great time.  Today we have also organized a soccer tournament of the zone to help unity so im pretty pumped right now to go dominated!  We also started up an english class this past week on the stake level.  There are a lot of people in the stake that speak or want to learn to speak english so we decided to start a class that the missionaries will teach.  Six people came this past week which was pretty good for not really announcing it much still.  My comp taught the more advanced speakers and I taught two kids ages 10 and 7.  They told me my class was boring so they ditched me half way through haha.  I dont think I'll ever try to be an elementary teacher.  But it went well and well see if we can find some success through it.  We also have had a ton of special changes in the zone lately so we have been real busy at the bus station sending missionaries off and greeting the new ones.  One of the changes affected us quite a bit.  President took the sisters out of the area that is next to our area.  They had just barely moved into a new house and made a contract with the landlord.  In our house we didnt have a contract so we moved from our house to a really nice house that the sisters were living in.  Since we are the zone leaders we have a ton of stuff so it took a couple days to move and settle in.  But our new house is pretty amazing.  With the extra mattresses we have we made couches, we have an awesome study room where we are going to be recieving a bunch of revelation (we call it El Monte).  So we are feeling a lot better to leave our last house and live a lot more comfortably in this one.  We continue to do several family home evenings with the members of the ward every week.  They have been pretty good to invite their non member friends and family to come and listen to our message.  We have also prepared a new message for these family nights.  We teach the members and the non members how to share the Gospel and we do it with hands-on activities.  We usually set up situations so that the members do a role-play of them sharing the Gospel with their friends that are there in the family night.  We have felt the Spirit in these role-plays as members have invited their friends to listen to the missionaries, to go to church, shared their testimony, etc.  We think these activities will strengthen the members a lot and that they will be more bold in sharing the Gospel with their friends.  Just to let everyone know (and mostly to comfort my mom), I am doing well.  This work isn't easy but it is worth it everyday.  It has been a little bit hard to go through a period without baptisms when my companion and I feel that we have become the best missionaries we have ever been, but we trust in the Lord and know that we are doing His will.  I know in whom I have trusted and I know that this work will continue to go forth and grow everyday in the whole world until the Lord comes again to reign upon the earth.  I love you all and hope to hear from you guys soon because I miss everyone so much!!  

Elder Stutz    


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

El Para Siempre Se Compone De Ahoras

Hey Guys,
We had a pretty abnormal week due to our counsel and capacitation in Cuernavaca.  But before we left, we were able to meet with the stake president of Chilpancingo and talk to him about the real growth of the church here.  We set goals and made plans to improve so that this stake can be split as soon as possible.  My companion got a little sick to his stomach at the beginning of the week as well so we didnt get a chance to work before leaving to Cuernavaca.  On Thursday, we had a ten hour counsel with President and the rest of the zone leaders.  We talked about a ton of stuff like working effectively with the members, working with the leaders of the church, having faith in our work, mission rules, and the pattern of conversion.  President Kusch has recieved so much revelation for the mission and he is helping us out a ton.  We all feel like the mission can baptize so much more and that we can help the church grow quicker in this part of the world.  The following day, we had our capacitation of leaders where all the district leaders and trainers joined us.  That was another eight hour meeting where we talked about a lot of similar things and also did a lot of hands on practice with role plays.  We enjoyed ourselves quick a bit and I was able to see a bunch of my best friends in the mission.  Elder Oswald just became zone leader of the Civac zone (where we served together) so he was there as well.  I actually got to stay over night at his house so we caught up on how we were doing and our missionary experiences.  He is such a great and humble guy, I know we will be great friends after the mission.  We didnt get back to Chilpo till Saturday afternoon so we were left with a few short hours to work in our area for the week.  But we did enjoy those hours because we went to the church to meet some friends of a young man in our ward named Rafa.  He is constructing a house with his dad and some family friends right now so he as had the chance to share the Gospel with them.  He only got baptized like 5 months ago but he has such a strong testimony and is looking forward to serving a mission.  But I did enjoy getting to know a couple of his family friends and we ended up taking them into the church to gave them a tour and show them around.  One of the guys lives with his wife and 7 kids!  We are going to go teach him and his family on Tuesday.  Sunday brought with it a few tender mercies of the Lord.  None of our investigators came to church due to our absence during the week.  But my heart was touched when a recently activated member got up to share his testimony.  I dont remember if I have talked about him before but he is a taxi driver that we ran into a few weeks ago.  He was alone and completely separated from the church.  We found out his bday was the following day from when we met him and told him we would take him out to eat.  He is now a great friend of mine and hasnt missed a sunday at church in about a month now.  But he got up and expressed his love for the Savior and His Atonement and for the chance he has to repent and come back to Christ through the Church.  We taught the Gospel Principles class again and afterwards a bunch of primary kids ran down the hall towards us.  They all gave us little drawings they had done of us, the missionaries.  Their teacher told us that she asked them to draw their greatest heroes and they all decided that the missionaries are the greatest heroes.  It was so sweet of them and I was so grateful for those kids an their love towards all the missioanries in the world.  In elders quorum we had the chance to teach again because the President wasnt able to make it.  We decided to talk about home teaching and train these brethern how to do it.  So we learned with them how a home teaching visit should be done and then we conducted a role play right there in Church to get them practicing what they need to be doing every week.  It went really well and I think the brethren are more confident now in going to do visits to the members and less actives.  We have some special changes going on in the zone.  We had a good elder leave yesterday and another come in to take his place and a set of the sister missionaries are getting changed out and their ward will be without missionaries for right now.  We are going to go live in their apartment though because they had a contract on it so we will be living in a different area but will continue to work in our area.  Today we are heading to the zoo here in Chilpo with our zone to help with unity and to have fun and then my comp and I are going to have a zone capacitation to teach everyone what we learned from President Kusch and apply it to the specific needs of our zone.  I am grateful for the work and service we do on a daily basis in this church because the Lord is always preparing us for the future.  I love a quote which is the title of my email ¨Forever is composed of nows.¨  We cannot procrastinate the improvments that we need to make today.  When we make those improvements today, the Lord prepares our future so that we will be able to return to His presence with our families and eternal joy.  THis is our goal and I hope to help others achieve it too.  Love you all!!!
Elder Stutz