Monday, September 17, 2012

¡Viva México!

Hey Guys
Everything is good here in Mexico!  We continue to work and we continue to see the blessings of our labors.  Last Monday we organized volleyball for the zone and almost all the missionaries came.  It was a blast and we were able to bond as a zone.  It reminded me of fun times with friends and family playing volleyball outside on the baseball field´s grass.  We also had the opportunity to visit Alma, the convert, again in her home and talk with her about her progress in the Gospel.  She commented to us that she had read Lehi´s dream in the Book of Mormon and was deeply touched by its message of enduring to the end and sharing the Gospel with others.  She talked about the desire that Lehi had to share the fruit with his family but Laman and Lemuel did not accept.  She compared this story to her own life because she continues to invite her family to come to church with her and get baptized but up till now, they have not accepted.  But the good thing is that she understands that it will come with time and patience.  She has such a strong testimony of the Gospel and she continues to hold fast to the iron rod.  Roberto, our recently activated friend, came to do divisions with us this past week.  He and I went to go visit some of his friends to invite them to listen to our message.  It was a sad but also special experience to see him invite several family members and friends that he has to listen to our message and to hear all of them decline the offer.  The special part about it was that he never got discouraged, we continue to invite.  His testimony has been strengthened so much and he is learning to overcome the bad examples of friends and family in his lfie.  He is a great guy and I am so grateful to have been part of his recent conversion.  We also had a baptism this past week!!!  Zuley, a nine year old girl from the primary, wasnt baptized because her mom is inactive.  We went with them this past week and Zuley told us she wanted to be baptized.  We taught her all week and on Sunday she was baptized and I confirmed her a few minutes later in sacrament meeting.  She is such an example, like many young kids, of willingness to follow Christ and do everything to keep His commandments.  I think the baptism got the ward pretty excited so we are pumped for the following weeks to receive references and continue to work with these great members.  We also had a great activity on Saturday to celebrate the independence of Mexico.  A ton of people came and we received a few references from it.  Us three did a special number as we sung a tradicional song from Acapulco.  We totally butchered it but it gave the people a good laugh!  Right now we are teaching a 19 year old girl named Laura who is progressing really well.  She has gone to church twice and is living with members right now.  I will have an update next week on her but she is planning on getting baptized in 2 weeks!  I love this work and know its the Lords work!  Hope everyone enjoys their week!
Elder Stutz

Monday, September 10, 2012

La Tristeza Produce Arrepentimiento Para Salvación

We had a pretty eventful week again.  Special changes have become more common than regular changes for me!  This past week we got a new companion!  Elder Quinnelly and I are now training a new elder that just got here from Peru.  His name is Elder Cangahuala and he served about 4 months in Peru waiting for his visa.  He is super cool and we like having him in the companionship.  He is a short little guy and he is funny and humble.  Ill send a pic next week!  Last Monday I had the opportunity to teach a little bit in another district meeting in our zone.  Elder Crook, the district leader, asked me to teach his district what I taught him in divisions about having our own sacred grove in the mornings.  The idea comes from a talk by Elder Kikuchi and I taught them that every morning they must follow the morning schedule and before they study, they should find a quiet, peaceful place to pour their soul out to the Lord.  The purpose of this daily habit is to develop a stronger relationship with God, resolve problems or worries we have daily, and to receive specific revelation to fix those problems and worries.  It is a principle that has changed my life completely since I started over a year ago.  I testified to those elders that if they made it a habit, that they would recieve more power in the priesthood and that their mission would become a springboard of spirtual progression for their lives.  I also invite all of you to do so as well every morning and I promise that you will be happier on a daily basis and that you will develop a stronger relationship with God.  At the beginning of the week, we found a drunk in the street that talk to us for a little bit, we learned that he is a member and that he is the patriarchs son.  Because of alcohol, his life has been destroyed but he wants to change.  We went to his house and met his girlfriend and her daughter.  She seems super interested in the Church and we have started to teach her.  She wants him to change as well because they do not have peace in their family.  We sang I am a Child of God to them and the brother cried.  The daughter loved the song and she is such a cute little girl.  We hope that they can come unto Christ as a family to experience healing and peace in their home.  This past week we also went to Cuernavaca for our council with President Kusch.  We talked about new rules of the mission and also about the way to do missionary work.  We are now not allowed to contact doors or contact people in the street.  Everything we do now has to be with the members.  President promised us with this new way to work and this new focus on the members that we will have more baptisms, more active members, more temple attendence of the members, and more overall growth in the church in Mexcio.  We are excited for it and we have already begun to see the fruits of it in our ward, Heroico.  We had ward council last night and we planned a bunch of activities and set goals so that the members give us work to do.  Their attitude will slowly start to change about the missionary work and I am confident that we will be able to work more alongside the members in this great work.  We also had the opportunity to meet with the stake president of Chilpancingo again, President Torres.  He is such a great man and a great leader.  We are working with him to get the stake excited about this new focus on member missionary work.  He has taught me how to be a Christ-like leader and how to do things the Lords way with a humble willingness to do His will.  We continue to work with a few investigators but none of them came to church this week.  We are struggling to help these people progress toward baptism and we will be looking for revelation this week to improve our efforts.  This morning I read a scripture that I liked a lot that talks about feelings that I have pretty often.  In 2 Corithians 7:10, it talks about how godly sorrow helps us repent and ultimately reach eternal life.  I have felt that godly sorrow often in the mission as I constantly see children of God choose the other path and choose to suffer instead of enjoy eternal blessings.  Every Sunday I experience feelings of sorrow for all the pèople that chose not to come and partake of the sacrament.  Those feelings have helped me come unto Christ.  Those feelings motivated me to make goals and plans for during and after the mission so that I always choose the right path, so that I do not have to suffer as these people suffer for their decisions.  I am grateful for the trials and experiences that Heavenly Father has given me because I have been able to grow in the Gospel.  I love Him and strive to please Him in my daily service.  I love all you guys as well and I am so grateful for all the Lord has taught me through loved ones in my life.  Have a great week!!!
Elder Stutz


Rendiré Mi Corazón

Hey Guys!
The weeks are just flying by these days, I feel like I was just writing home yesterday.  We had a pretty productive week and we are being blessed right now in our area.  My companion and I learned on Saturday that we will be staying another 6 weeks in our area and  there were only 3 changes in the whole zone.  So we are excited to work with almost the same group of elders and sisters this change.  They are great missionaries and we are learning so much together about working with the members to have real growth in the church in Chilpancingo.  Elder Quinnelly and I were able to give service to some members this past week and visit quite a few less actives.  We are trying to help the ward activate those who have been lost and we have faith that we will find baptisms along the way.  Our elders quorum president, who is a recent convert from Feburary, gave us a reference of his best friend.  He is his neighbor and he has 7 kids!!!  So its a huge family!  I got to teach them when we did divisions with the brothers in the ward and I felt such a sweet spirit in their humble little home as I taught them of Joseph Smith, prophets and baptism.  They accepted baptismal date and are excited to prepare to be baptized.  I fasted for them this weekend and was disappointed when they didn't come to church on Sunday.  The elders quorum pres didn't come either so something must have happened but we were blessed in a different way at church.  None of our investigators showed up but a couple of the less actives that we visited did and also two friends of members showed up for the first time.  They seem interested and we are going to start to teach them this week.  Roberto, the taxi driver that we helped get active again, told us this week that he wants to go out preaching with us two times a week and he is preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood!  He wants to find an eternal companion at church to marry in the temple!!!!  He also bore his testimony on Sunday about tithing.  He said that when he started going to church 2 months ago he decided to give tithing a try because he was super poor.  He told us that the day he gave his first tithing, a person told him to take him all the way to Mexico City in his taxi!  He made bank and knew it was a blessing from the Lord.  I lvoe that guy and know he will be successful in his righteous goals and desires.  We are excited to continue to work here and we are going to baptize a family this change!!!  Lvoe you all and I know this work is true.  Thank you for all the constant thoughts and prayers.
Elder Stutz