Thursday, January 31, 2013

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    

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