Thursday, January 31, 2013

Entrelazados Sus Corazones

Hey Guys,
We will start todays letter with what we did last pday.  We had the opportunity to go to Tepoztlan to climb the pyramid.  We went with a couple companionships from our zone.  We climbed to the pyramid and hiked down pretty quick to be able to visit a few people while there.  I was able to say hi to a few members that I hadnt seen for over a year.  We went and ate with one of my favorite sisters there, Sister Cande.  She made us lunch and we talked a little about the branch.  It was tough for me to hear of the struggles going on, especially for the recent converts.  Instead of growing, the branch has struggled as of late.  But Sister Cande mentioned something that kept my spirits up.  She told me that she was grateful to feel of the spirit that I carry with me again.  She admited that while I was there, she noticed I was blessed with the gift of tongues and the gift of helping others become converted.  I was touched by her words.  I hope and pray that that branch there can stay strong and can become a ward one day.  The rest of the week was spent in the Palmas ward!  Elder Azueta and I loved being back in the action, teaching the members, less actives, and members.  We had quite an emotional and spiritual roller coaster with some of our investigators.  On Monday, we went to see Norma, Karen, and Abram.  They said they didnt show up for their baptismal interview last week because Karen had to go to the hospital for her asthma.  We took four of the strongest members of the ward to their house to have a super powerful lesson so that they would feel the Spirit and committ again to be baptized.  The lesson was very powerful as the members shared their testimonies and we were able to resolve some of the doubts they had.  They accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 26th!  We decided to do a special fast for them before our next appointment so that they could stick to that committment to be baptized.  When we returned to teach them, Norma was in a panic and explained to us that her mom in Acapulco was put in the hospital and was in really bad shape.  We tried to calm her down by explaining about the plan of salvation and the Atonement but she was not accepting any of it.  I felt an impression to take out my hymn book so I told Elder Azueta that we would sing them some hymns to bring the spirit into their home.  We did so and it seemed to help.  Norma decided to go to Acapulco instead of being baptized and for the moment, we are going to stop teaching them because they need time.  But we did find success this past week with other investigators.  We went to see Luigi in the rehab center again and he is doing awesome!  He has quit smoking and has been able to do so by reading the Book of Mormon daily.  He was actually able to get permission to leave the rehab center for a couple hours to attend our baptism this past saturday.  He loved it and is so excited to be baptized in March.  We are also working with two other investigators who will be baptized on Feburary 9th!  We are working with a man named Omar who loves coming to church.  He is especially loving the book of Lorenzo Snow that we have studied in priesthood.  We are also working with a friend of a sister in the ward.  She is going through some depression so we are trying to help her by teaching her the restored gospel.  They have both accepted to be baptized.  We also meet a lady this week who is a friend of a member.  This lady has gone through many many trials and is looking for answers.  Her 10 year old son died a year ago and her husband was killed a month ago.  We were able to teach her the plan of salvation this past week and we are excited to help her with the trials she is going through.  Alejandra got baptized on saturday and the service was so spiritual.  We combined the service with the other ward, Vista Hermosa, who had two baptisms.  Several members and investigators came and the service turned out great.  Alejandra was beaming on her baptism day.  She has become converted to the Gospel so quickly.  We only taught her 4 lessons before her baptism but she was able to become converted because of her effort and dedication.  She read the Book of Mormon every night, prayed daily, went to church both weeks, and attends institute 3 times a week.  She is now getting involved with the Relief Society during the week.  She is 21 years old so I hope she chooses to serve a mission in the coming years.  Just a quick thought to finish of something I have learned in the scriptures and in the Palmas ward.  In Mosiah 18:21-22 we learn that a pre-rec to being missionaries and having success in a ward or branch is unity.  We must love each other first before we can show love for others by sharing the Gospel.  If we are united, those looking for the truth will be lead to us and they will feel the love of their Father in Heaven when they are around us.  We have felt that love and unity in this ward.  Love you all!  Have a fantastic week!
Elder Stutz

Ver a los Demás Como Pueden Llegar a Ser

Hey Guys
Another great week it has been in the service of the Lord.  We traveled quite a bit this past week, attending the 3 conferences that we planned in the mission with Elder Zivic, a member of the first quorom of the seventy.  All the preparations and planning really paid off as we were able to be instruct from on high by a servant of the Lord.  It certainly was a great priveledge being present in all three conferences to listen to every detail and teaching from Elder Zivic and his wife.  In the conferences, Elder Azueta and I gave a 10 minute presentation on the vision, goals, and plans of the mission in 2013.  It was great to be able to present it to the whole mission so that every companionship and missionary has the same mindset and expectation of what they can achieve.  My favorite part of the mission tour with Elder Zivic was the interview Elder Azueta and I had with him, his wife, President Kusch, and Sister Kusch.  He asked us several questions about the mission, how we can improve, how are we setting the example, etc.  At the end, Elder Zivic asked President Kusch and Sister Kusch to share their feelings about us.  They both began to cry a little as they expressed to him that we are diligent and faithful in everything that we do.  President Kusch said that he hasnt met many young men like us.  The Spirit was very strong in that moment and I loved what Elder Zivic said after they had basically praised us and our work.  He said, Well I hope that is all true.  I hope you two also realize that after hearing that directly from them, that you are now under even more responsibility to be as perfect as you can be as representatives of Christ and as missionaries in this mission.  I felt the Spirit so strong when he said that and I felt the great expectations that the Lord has for me, the same expectation expressed in the scriptures "Be ye therefore PERFECT".  Elder Zivic corrected us in many ways while here.  He emphasized the importance of baptisms that we as a mission perhaps had lost for a while.  He also corrected how we as assistants work.  For example, this week we were going to travel to Acapulco, Cuatla, Chilpancingo, and Zihuatenejo to give our training to the other zones during interviews.  Elder Zivic said that is is not ok that we are outside of our area for so long and that it would be impossible for us to set the example for the mission with so little time working in our own area.  So all of our trainings have been cancelled and for the first time in this area, we will be working everyday in our area.  We feel a little sad because we really loved being able to help the missionaries to get better, but we are so excited to be able to work to have several baptisms and set the example for the mission.  As a mission, we are struggling right now as far as baptisms go and Elder Azueta and I are resolved to help fix that by putting the example.  Last week, we were going to baptize a family of 3 on Saturday.  We taught them on Friday night and they were totally ready for their interview Saturday morning.  When we arrived to have the interview,they were not there and they didnt answer their phone all day.  We still dont know why they disappeared so we are praying with a lot of faith to be able to find them this week and have their baptism this saturday.  A positive thing that happened in our area was a great lesson with a young woman named Alejandra.  We had taught her before Christmas because she studies here in Cuernavaca.  She went home to her village for the holidays and just got back.  While she was gone she read the Book of Mormon a little and prayed.  She told us she feels she has felt an answer that it is true and wants to get baptized this coming saturday!  She came to church and is so excited to get baptized.  The women in the relief society have done a great job fellowshipping her and getting her excited for her baptism.  So we are praying and working to have four baptisms this saturday and the rest of the work we will do will be to havve many people to baptize for next month.  While reading the talk by President Monson from General Conference this morning, I felt the Spirit testify to me that as we see others, not as they are, but how they can become with a testimony and conversion of the Gospel, we can change the attitudes and mindsets around us.  We may think that someone will never repent or never change and if we think that way, we will never be able to help them.  But if we see them how they can become, we will receive the direction and revelation from heaven to know how to help them change.  I know that is true because I have seen many people change that at first, didnt seem like they ever had a chance.  Love you all!  Make sure you see people how they can become with the potential they have so that you can help them progress and be happier.  Also, dont forget to see yourselves with the divine potential that you have because by setting goals and striving to achieve them, we can become better everyday.  Lots of Love!
Elder Stutz 

Cuando No Hay Salida

Hey Everyone!
We had another busy week, traveling all over the place.  We took the missionaries that finished their mission to the bus station on Wednesday.  One of my best friends from the mission, Elder Smith, was one of the ones that finished.  When he left he reminded me when we did divisions together and had several spiritual experiences while teaching investigators.  We told me that since that day he could always trust me because I simply listened to and sincerely tried to help the people improve their lives by coming unto Christ.  After thinking about his comments, I realized that the key to successful teaching is love for the learner.  Right now, Elder Azueta and I are excited because a member of the Seventy is coming to the mission this week.  We are going to be doing a mission tour with him the whole week in several parts of the mission.  He has also asked Elder Azueta and I to prepare ourselves for an hour long interview with him where we will present to he several bits of information about the mission and how it will get better.  We have created a powerpoint presentation to help him see our vision, plans, and goals for 2013 in the Mexico Cuernavaca Mission.  This past week we had interviews with President and I had a very uplifting one with him.  We talked about gifts, talents, leadership, and post-mission plans.  During the interviews, Elder Azueta and I gave a training presentation to the missionaries.  Using a lot of parables of sports and a couple inspired videos, we taught the missionaries of the importance of having spiritual district meetings every week, of motivating your companion to reach his or her greatest potential, and of using the Atonement daily so that we can be worthy servants of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I felt the Spirit every time we would make a promise to those missionaries about their happiness, conversion, etc. if they follow the council we have given them.  We will continue to give that presentation throughout the zones in the last few weeks of the month.  I went back to Iguala for the first time since about a year ago this past week for interviews and it felt great to be back.  I actually saw a young man in the church named Pepeo from the Tamarindos ward.  A year ago, he was inactive (being the only member in his family) and we were working with him so that he would return to church.  When began talking there in the church and he told me that tomorrow he is leaving to go to Chile to serve a full-time mission!!!!  It was quite the shock but I was so happy to hear that he has changed and that he is acting upon the desires he has to help others be happy.  Yesterday in church, we started our new ward mission plan here in the Palmas ward.  The bishop came up with a great idea to take pictures of every family in the ward and glue the picture in a book of mormon to give to each family of members.  We gave the members their books with their picture in it and with the instruction to write their testimonies inside and give it to a friend.  The members seemed excited as we passed out the books and I know that this idea will bring forth fruits because it was direct revelation from the Lord to the bishop and his conselors.  We also taught Norma, Abram, and Karen this week when they got back from Christmas vacation in Acapulco.  They told us that while they were there, they shared the gospel with all their family members and that they are now receiving the lessons from the elders there.  After having sharing the Gospel, they are a lot more excited for their baptism and to actually become members.  They have baptismal date for this week so we are looking forward to finally being able to baptize in this ward!  Yesterday before church, we had a pretty funny experience in the house.  Elder Azueta went into the bathroom to shower and get ready for church.  When he finished, he tried to open the door but it wouldnt open when he turned the doorknob.  After messing with the doorknob for about fifteen minutes, we decided that we needed to remove the doorknob because it had apparently broke.  I slide a knife under the door so that Elder Azueta could remove the screws to be able to take off the doorknob.  We successfully got the doorknob off but the lock didnt come out of the door, so it still didnt open.  With plyers, we tried to pull the lock out but it wasnt working.  After about an hour and half, Elder Azueta was getting a little claustrophobic and he was getting pretty desperate to get out.  He wanted to jump out the window but we life on the fourth floor so that definitely wasnt an option.  I found a hammer in the house and started ripping apart the door so I could get to the lock.  After two hours of sitting in a tiny bathroom, we successfully opened the door!!  Elder Azueta was telling me that it was so frustrating to want to leave a small space and then not being able to leave by turning the doorknob.  I thought about our experience during the day and related it to our lives.  Sometimes, due to sin, mistakes, addictions, pleasures, tragedies, etc. we find ourselves locked in a small room of pain, regret, despair, or embaressment.  Many of us look for solutions wherever we can find them in this life, through money, fame, drinking, drugs, etc.  These are not real solutions.  The only person or thing that can open that door is Jesus Christ.  He can helps us change.  He can help us find happiness and erase feelings of guilt or regret.  I have experienced His healing in my life and I know that when we come unto Him, we will feel relief just like Elder Azueta felt when he finally got out of that bathroom.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Love you all!!!!
Elder Stutz    

Mi Gozo Es Más Completo Por El Éxito De Mis Hermanos

Hey Everyone
Hopefully everyone is enjoying the new year because we sure are.  Elder Azueta and I had a very busy week last week with trips to and from the airport, mission counsel, transfers, and other things to help president out.  We were actually so busy that we didnt teach any lessons in our own area.  We had the mission counsel with the zone leaders last wednesday.  It was a great meeting, especially because we just had transfers and we invited the new zone leaders to come.  All the new zone leaders are missionaries with experience that I have a great friendship with so it was great to see all of them there, ready to begin their service.  Elder Azueta and I felt the Spirit so strong as we trained the zone leaders and also when President taught us about personal conversion and the importance of being excellent teachers and excellent missionaries.  One thing I love about being assistant is being able to be instructed by president at random times during the day.  For example, in our attempt to have a more obedient mission, president has had to send several elders home recently.  It is a sad event but as we felt that sadness for our fellow brethren, president taught us of the importance of obedience.  He has told us that in all of his experiences as a priesthood leader, he has never faced serious problems of people that have been obedient to the Gospel.  Those who are disobedient later have problems that can become very serious.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be obedient and earn the blessings that the Lord is willing to give me.  I have also had the opportunity to apply the atonement and sacrifice my own will to accept the will of the Lord the last couple of weeks.  The ward we are currently in is an amazing ward.  The bishop is amazing and the members are usually willing to work.  Our ward mission leader is the best!!!  He got reactivated recently and is giving it his all in his calling.  The unfortunate thing is that we never have time to see the members, get to know them, work with their references, etc.  Every time we set up appointments with the bishop or ward mission leader, we have to cancel for things that come up in the mission.  It is the ward that I have always wanted in the mission.  I always feel terrible for our lack of time and for not being able to participate in the missionary work in the ward.  I have had to apply the atonement to overcome those feelings of disappointment or sadness.  The positive thing is that I have been blessed with a lot of joy as I have witnessed the success of my brethren in the mission.  Like Alma (Alma 29:14), my joy is more complete when I see the success of the other missionaries and when I am able to serve them so that they have more success.  I am also so grateful for the opportunity to constantly help the elders in the mission become more converted to the Savior.  I received an answer to my prayers this past week as I was trying to overcome feelings of disappointment.  As I read the Liahona, I found a quote from one of my ancestors named John Tanner.  He said, ¨Conversion is the greatest miracle.  It is even more wonderful than healing the sick or raising the dead.  For while a person who is healed will eventually fall sick again and ultimately die, the miracle of conversion can last forever and affect the eternities for the convert as well as for his or her posterity.  Whole generations are healed and redeemed from death through the miracle of conversion.¨  I know that as we invite others to come unto Christ, we are offering eternal happiness and it is even greater than healing a blind man or raising the dead.  I also know that as we work with the missionaries in the mission, focusing on their personal conversion, we will see an infinite amount of eternal fruit for our efforts.  I am always willing to give up my own will so that the will of the Lord can rescue my fellow brethren and give them success.  I love being able to be a part of such a humbling work.  I love you all!!!!
Elder Stutz