Monday, December 10, 2012

El Poder del Testimonio

Hey guys!
Today we are writing from the furthest zone away from Cuernavaca, Lásero Cárdenas (on the coast).  We are doing divisions with the zone leaders today here because they are both new to the position and to the area.  Elder Azueta and I traveled from 10PM last night till 10AM this morning in a bus to arrive and we will make the same trip tonight to head back and help President with some more special changes in the mission tomorrow.  Elder Azueta and I are very busy and tired a lot but to be able to keep going everyday, we have started to play basketball bright and early in the morning.  We do drills and have a lot of fun.  So im trying to get back into bastekball shape again!  Last saturday, we had an interesting experience.  After playing bball, we went to the secretaries house at 7AM to help them move.  When we opened the door to their house, we were surprised to find about 6 inches of water in the whole house.  They didnt know how it happened but we had to get all the water out and all their belongings out in 2 hours.  We used buckets, cups, and a dustpan and got everything out just in time for them to move into their new apartment.  It was a prettty fun experience, throwing water at each other and moving houses with soaking wet shoes and socks.  At the beginning of the week, we spent all our time preparing for the mission council with the zone leaders.  The council turned out excellent!  President talked about a lot of great things and we had a couple hours to be able to ask the zone leaders inspired questions so that they could determine what they need to do in their zones to have better results and more converted missionaries.  I felt the Spirit really strong as we helped these zone leaders realize their potential and the potential of the elders in their zones.  I know most of them really well and during the council, I could see and feel a lot of big changes in all of them.  In their time in the mission, they have become more converted to the Lord.  We asked the zone leaders to write Christmas cards to President and Sister Kusch, explaining to them what they are going to do differently as missionaries so that the mission has more success.  This was our gift to president and when we gave them the cards at the end of the council, they both began to cry and expressed their love for us.  They truly are amazing people.  Sister Kusch calls Elder Azueta and I her Mexican children because she loves spoiling us with brownies and ice cream everytime we go to the house to help her husband.  They have become two great friends of mine.  On Friday, we did our zone service project in a rest home.  We cleaned the place up a little by mopping, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, washing the windows, and washing the sheets.  We also had the chance to sit down with the elderly to talk with them about their experiences.  It was funny to talk to some of them because they either dont have good memories, or they have mental issues and have basically gone crazy.  I loved it though because we were able to make little autobiographies for the elderly there which included a memory from their lives and a picture of us and them.  I made one for a guy named Belecio and he talked my ear right off.  He couldnt remember most things from his life, being 89 years old, but he did love having my company.  We finished the service by singing them Christmas songs.  It was really touching being able to see the joy in their faces while we were there.  In our area, we have only had time to teach one family.  This family was a reference of a recent convert in the ward.  It is a family of a mom and her two daughters that are 21 and 11.  The two lessons we have had with this family have been so powerful.  They want to change because they want to have a more united family.  A member came with us to our last appointment and as he testified of the blessings of the Gospel, he began to cry which made the family cry which made us really happy because we knew they were feeling the Spirit.  In that moment we committed them to be baptized on December 29th.  They came to church yesterday and loved it so much.  We already feel like their best friends.  Unfortunately, yesterday we found out that they live just outside of the boundaries of the ward, so we will not be able to continue to teach them.  I was sad because this family is one of the most special that I have ever taught, but I know that they will still get baptized and receive all the blessings that they are willingly to recieve through sacrifice.  I had the opportunity to speak yesterday in church and I talked about that experience with this family and the member who bore his testimony.  I talked about the difference between a missionary and a member bearing testimony in a lesson.  It is always better when a member does it because it is more sincere and convincing to the investigators.  As members of the church, we must always have our testimony ready to share with anyone at any moment.  The scriptures teach us that through our testimonies, we can rescue those that are lost (Alma 4:19?).  I invite all of us to think about and identify opportunities that we can take advantage of to share our testimony more often and with more people.  I know that our testimonies can change the hearts of those around us because I have seen it happen.  When we think someone in our lives will never change, we can always rely on our testimony to help their hearts soften.  I love this work and I hope to be able to help the elders around me become more converted to the Lord through the testimony I have.  Love you all!!!!  
Elder Stutz  

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