Tuesday, November 13, 2012

¿Habéis Preguntado al Señor?

We had a full week of events!  We started with our multi-zone conference with President Kusch and his wife.  He spoke about everything we had heard in our mission council of zone leaders.  He spoke on the new requirements that each ward or branch will have to meet to qualify for missionaries.  If there is a ward or branch that does not meet those requirements, the missionaries will be moved to a different area.  This means, especially with the increase of future missionaries applying to serve, there can be up to 3 companionships in a ward or branch that does qualify.  In the next few months, the wards and branches are expected to make the neccessary changes to be able to keep their missionaries.  We also had a cool safety training that will certainly protect us and the leaders of the church here in Mexico.  Everything with the food turned out well after buying enough donuts, gatorade, and pizza for 80 people haha.  Later in the week, we had Ignacio and Arianas wedding.  It was fun to be there with them on such a special day.  Elder Quinnelly and I were witnesses at the wedding so we were right there in the action!!!!   I attached photos so you can see that they were very happy together.  The following day, we had a busy day baptizing.  We started with the service in the Centro ward.  We filled up the font and everything was ready so that we could have a great service.  Margarita, the women who got baptized, said an amazing opening prayer.  She began to cry in her prayer as she thanked the Lord for the opportunity to start over in her life and come to know the Savior better by following His example.  After the spiritual thoughts, Margarita and I moved into the font to perform the ordinance.  When we entered we found that the drain had automatically turned on so the water level was pretty low.  We decided to move on with the baptism and we just had to sumerge them a little more than usual haha.  But I baptized Margarita and Elder Quinnelly baptized Oscar, her 15 year old son.  There were several members there to support and they were both so happy.  After the service, we ran over to our church for Arianas baptism.  Her newly wed husband shared his testimony because he just got active again in the church after going inactive at the age of 15.  He began to cry as he looked at his wife in her white baptismal clothes.  He shared a touching testimony of his desire to have an eternal family with Ariana and his son that will be born in December.  The Spirit was so strong and I felt so grateful in that moment for the opportunity I had to meet this wonderful couple and teach them the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I baptized Ariana and she too looked so content after having been baptized.  Yesterday we had stake conference.  We received a transmission from Salt Lake that I believe was directed to all spanish speaking countries.  We heard from some members of the seventy and from Elder Scott.  Elder Scott spoke to us in spanish of the blessings of the temple.  He talked about his wife a lot and shared a heartfelt testimony of the reality of eternal families in our lives.  Ariana and Ignacio were there to hear the talk and I hope and pray that they begin to prepare themselves to be sealed for time and all eternity.  I know that the Lord wants our families to last for eternity and I know it is possible through the restored priesthood that we have on the earth.  I also know that when any of us are in a tough situation in our lives that we can turn to the Lord in prayer to recieve direct guidance from His Holy Spirit.  Love you all!!
Elder Stutz 

pics of the wedding ( I was a witness and had to sign the paper to make it official!!) 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Organizó Sus Fuerzas y Nombró Mensajeros

Hey Guys
This last week we had mission council with all the zone leaders and it was a good time.  We did it on halloween and we had it in presidents house.  There are a lot of changes going on in Mexico as far as the mssionary work goes.  In the whole contry, we are not allowed to contact.  We can only work through references.  The wards and branches are also going to have to help us more.  There will be strict requirements that each ward and branch have to complete to qualify to have missionaries.  These changes arent being made overnight but after a few months everything will be on track.  The reason the work is changing is because less than 10% of the baptisms here stay active.  So we need more participation from the ward leaders and members.  This will change the church here in Mexico.  Elder Bednar said the following about these changes:  We are going to start doing the work how we should have being doing it from the start.  So we are pumped for these changes and we are really trying to help the members get used to it and get more active in the Gospel.  We will be having a multi zone conference tomorrow here in Chilpancingo to talk about these changes and about security.  Elder Quinnelly and I are busy all day today preparing this event for 80 people. (I am so grateful for Sams club when we have to feed 80 people breakfast and lunch!!)  As for the work in our area, last week was kind of tough because our three baptims fell.  But they are all happening this week now, including the wedding of Ignacio and Ariana.  I am stoked for that because they are both awesome friends of mine now.  Margarita and Oscar are also going to be baptized this coming Saturday along with Dulce.  We continue to make posters for the members in the ward to help them keep track of their spiritual progress in the home.  We love making them because we feel like it is a good way to really leave something behind in this ward that will benefit them for the future.  We also started our new ward activity of visits every friday to get the members more active in the Gospel.  Before, no one visited anyone in the ward.  But this past friday we did this activity and 8 people came.  We were able to do several inspired visits and we expect to have a lot more members there this Friday.  I feel that these visits are going to change the unity and love in this ward forever.   love this work and I am so grateful that I have been in this ward so long to see a little bit of progress and most of all, to dedicated so much time, thoughts, and energy to the Lord so that he can bless the people in the Heroico ward.  Love all you guys.  Hope all is well and that everyone has a great week!
Elder Stutz          

La Gratitud Precede el Milagro

Hey Guys!
Well, last week flew by pretty fast!  We went to renew our visas in Cuernavaca on Tuesday and started our work for the week on Wednesday.  We got the opportunity to exercise our priesthood and help other exercise their priesthood this past week.  We went to teach an investigator from Centros ward but the investigator never showed up.  We were waiting for her in the house of several members.  We began talking with them and discovered that many of them were suffering from illnesses or other strong trials that were threatening the happiness of them and their own families.  One by one, they began asking for priesthood blessings.  We gave maybe 5 or 6 blessings, I dont remember well.  But I do recall the special spirit present in that home.  I remember the silent prayers I said in my head and heart to know what to say to a son or daughter of God that was going through a trial stronger than I have ever had in my life.  We also helped a brother get out of his comfort zone by giving preisthood blessings to his son and his wife.  It was a special night of priesthood power.  I am grateful that the Lord has restored that power on the earth today for the happiness of His children.  Ariana and Ignacio are officially going to get married!!!!  This Thursday is the day.  Elder Quinnelly and I are going to be the witnesses and the baptism will be on Saturday.  They are both so excited because the baby will be born in a couple weeks.  We were able to talk with them about their eternal family.  They are already excited to go to the temple in about a year to be able to be sealed together.  Ignacio is excited to soon recieve the Melquisedeck priesthood and to receive a calling in the ward.  I lvoe them both and cant wait for the baptism and their temple sealing!  THIS is what the restored Gospel is all about, eternal happiness in the family.  We also have two other baptisms this coming week.  Their names are Margarita and her 15 year old son Oscar.  They are from Centros ward and we have enjoyed teaching them.  Margarita has such a strong testimony of the Gospel and cant wait to get baptized.  On Sunday, we went to Centros ward again and met ANOTHER invited friend that had come to church.  After meeting with him 5 minutes, hearing a powerful testimony from his friend, and talking about the importance of baptism, he committed to be baptized on the 17th of November.  He is a 20 yearold kid looking for direction in his life and felt something different and peaceful when he came to church.  We ahve around 10 planned baptisms for the month of November and we are excited for all these brothers and sisters of ours that are experiencing these changes in their lives and recieving the blessings of the Gospel.  Meanwhile, the Chilpancingo zone is experiencing many trials.  There are several areas that have nothing going on because they havent been able to work effectively with their members yet.  I had been praying for guidance to know what to do to help these missionaries have success and enjoy their mission more.  During the sacrament,  I was reading about the miracle when Christ multiplied the bread and fish to feed the multitude. I noticed that the disciples focused on the negative, the lack of food. But Christ took ¨what they already had¨ and gave thanks. The miracle of the multiplying came after the gratitude. I shared this with a few elders to help them see the importance of being grateful for what we have: willing members, a bishop, a ward mission leader, etc. Once we are grateful for what we do have, the Lord will work miracles in our areas so that the strength of the Lord is multiplied. I know this will happen in the Chilpancingo stake if we will just be grateful for what we have and if we continue to work diligently everyday for the Lord.  Love you all and hope everyone enjoys a good Halloween!!!
Elder Stutz  

Sacrificar para la Salvación

Hey everyone
I'll start today with some financial miracles.  Due to travel and changes, our monthly money went down the drain pretty fast and we were getting kind of scared for what we were going to do for the second half of the month.  Both of us had very small amounts of money.  One day during the week, my companion left the house with 200 pesos.  During the day, he spent about 70 pesos.  When we got home at night, he pulled out 250 pesos from his pocket.  We went over what he had spent and the change that the stores had given him.  The only explanation for the extra money was the same explanation when Christ multiplied the fish and bread for the multitude!!!!  Later that night, I found a 200 peso bill in my scriptures where I dont remember storing it away.  I thought I had already spent it but there it was.  We also had a miracle in our ward when the leaders finally agreed to make a ward mission plan with us!  Now we will be working more harmoniously with the ward and their goals for the missionary work.  After 6 months of asking and pleading, we got our mission plan!!  My companion and I also came up with a sweet idea to strengthen the families of the ward.  We made these nice laminated posters to measure success in the home regarding living the Gospel.  The chart helps the members keep track of when they do family home evenings, family scripture study, and family prayer.  We believe it will help the members realize that they are missing the simple daily things that protect us from temptation and failure in the family.  We also believe that if the members become more converted in their homes and families, they will naturally share the Gospel more.  They will have the desire to share what keeps them happy on a daily basis.  We also had our activity this past saturday.  We grilled 72 hamburgers while the members learned about geneology.  They had some laptops there to be able to learn hands-on.  We had several members coming out to eat their hamburgers totally excited because they had found several of their ancestors that they had never heard of or found before.  There was also a sister there that lives in very humble circumstances financially that thanked us so much for the hamburger because she had never eaten one her whole life of 55 years.  Even though we ran out of meat and didnt get to eat, we loved seeing the members together, feeling of the spirit of Elijah and enjoying a good american burger! haha  We even bought some A1 sauce and told everyone it was the 'secret sauce' for american hamburgers.  Everyone loved the sauce! haha  Apart from all the fun, we had a great baptismal service on Sunday morning of Lara.  She was so excited to get baptized and her parents supported her the whole way.  They came to her baptism and it was their first time coming to church.  They dressed up in suit and tie and dress and looked great!  I think her parents loved the baptism, especially because we asked them to give the two prayers to support their daughter on that special day.  I think they too will get baptized in a couple of weeks.  Ignacio and Ariana are still trying to figure out their marriage so we are waiting on that.  There are several great investigators that we haved started to help from the Centro ward.  The members do SO MUCH there and even though there are no missionaries there right now, they continue to baptism almost every week because they are truly converted members who love to share the Gospel.  I have enjoyed getting to know them in lessons with their friends because they share such powerful testimonies.  The title of my email comes from a quote that I love by Joseph Smith that basically says that no religion who doesnt ask us to sacrifice all things is able to provide us the necessary faith for salvation.  That is what I talked about in a talk I gave this past sunday in our ward.  I know that the Lord asks us to give ALL.  Sometimes we are not willing to sacrifice our most favorite sins or past-times but the Lord needs us to work in His vineyard so that we can be blessed with the faith to be able to return to His presence.  I love serving Him 24/7, it is a great joy!  Love you all and miss you guys a bunch!
Elder Stutz