Monday, December 23, 2013

Photos from the zone activity in Delicias on Friday, December 21st, 2013


"Me and my new companion, and also my new sweater. This nice lady just came up to me and gave it to me because she thought I was cold....what a sweet lady."


"My little Christmas tree with my presents :)"


"Our lineage...my great-grandpa on top, his two kids, their kids, and then me!!! Haha." (Trainers and Trainees)



"Pics of me and Elder Whitney and the other two elders in our house, Elder Norris and Elder Conklin."


"Pics of us and some of our Camargo homies."


"Pics of me and Elder Whitney."


Letter - December 23rd, 2013


December 23rd, 2013
     Wow! This week we did so much, and it was one of the best weeks in the mission, like everything we did was fun, and I was just......so happy! So it started as a normal week, not much too different, we worked last week and just did the norm. On Friday though we were supposed to go to Delicias a little bit later that day, and so we went, and this was my favorite part.
     So as zones we have activities every once in a while, so this day we went to Delicias and we went to a plaza where we sang Christmas hymns and then we shared with people after a little message and then got their addresses. So while the zone was singing they wanted like 2 missionaries to go out and just gather people. That night I just had so much excitement, and so me and an elder, Elder Compozano, went out to gather people. Haha it was just soooo fun! We literally were running around the place. When we saw people on the other side of the plaza we booked it to get them to stop and come back and listen. Me and him together got at least like 20 people to come back and listen to us. Elder Compozano was so funny, if there was ever a person that didn't want to go, he would like jump in front of them and try all he could do to get them to listen to us, and we had success!!! Most of the people that we brought back with us to listen to us were super interested in the gospel, so just like that, bam, tons of references for Delicias. The sweet part is that we're going to do the same thing in Camargo too...I'm so excited!!! So then that night we slept in Delicias so that we could go to Chihuahua early the next day.
     The posada, or party, was super fun too! We all met in Chihuahua and we all gathered with past friends and what not, and then we had a bunch of spiritual thoughts and singing and then food! The food was super good, it was like almost American food! Potatoes and rolls and all of that stuff!!! So after the food we went out to break piƱatas, and then Santa came! I thought Santa spoke only English....but I just realized he can talk all languages, haha ;) So yeah, Santa gave us stocking things that have a lot of candy, but a lot of the candy has chili on it....not my favorite, but I'm not going to lie, I'm starting to like the chili candies.....weird. So yeah, after Santa, all of us got the packages we had...it was like Christmas for real. That was fun!!! Then we headed back to Camargo.
      So yeah, during this whole time we also found out that Elder Whitney had cambios, or changes, transfers. So yesterday we came in a little bit early and Elder Whitney packed. And it was a lot sadder then I would have thought. Sure me and Elder Whitney didn't have the best success, we weren't the best missionaries, but I grew close to him. It was sad to let him go this morning, but now I have a cool new companion Elder Hangsen. I don't know much about him yet, but I think we're going to have a good time! Since we're still in Camargo now I have to show the way around and all of that stuff......wow, it's crazy!
     So yeah, that's the update, and here's the rest
-On Christmas I get to call you guys, we have a member that has skype, and I get to call at about 12:30 pm. So if you guys could figure out what skype account you will be using and then send me the user name so that I can search you guys and call you! I'm super excited :)
-So I got two packages, one from Grandma Val and one from the Barney family!!!! Thanks sooooooo much :) I also got a handwritten letter from Grandma Val and Grandma Barbara!!!
     So yeah that's about it, much better week last week, and I'm super excited to call you guys on Christmas!!!! 12:30 more or less and all I need is for you guys to send me the user name that I will search for!!! Thanks so much for everything, and I love you all sooooo much :)

-Elder Loveless

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Our zone"


"Me in front of a cool Christmas tree thing in Camargo."


"These two pics are of me and my smoothie. I just added some orange juice and some fruit, and it was super good!!!"


Letter: December 16th, 2013

Family,
So well, this last week hasn't been too different, but it has put me into deep thinking, with the time that I had, that I shouldn't have had. So Mexico, the missions in Mexico, have different expectations than different missions. If we don't have baptisms, we are planched (or like getting told that what you're doing is wrong and what not), and we haven't been having baptisms. I also found out this last week that we have in Camargo one of the hardest areas in the whole mission...there's just not success, and the members just do NOT want to help at all. So therefore, we get planched for not having baptisms, even though they know our area is the hardest area. And then comes a new problem, the missionaries start to hate the mission, get homesick and what not......so then it just forms more problems. I haven't really been getting too homesick, but I'm not going to lie about the fact that I have thought about that I could go home if I wanted to......have clean running water, washer, SAFETY, English, the ability to walk down a street without being made fun of, a house that isn't made out of stone blocks......my family.......but then we watched a short clip thing this morning with the zone. It was about Christ, and his atonement, and what he did for us.
In this clip, Elder Holland talks, and he says that the mission isn't supposed to be easy, it was never meant to be easy, but we should think about Christ. He, Christ, was the most perfect missionary there Ever was. He suffered ALL of the sins and pains of the world....so that He could complete His mission. We should never think that we can't do it, because Christ gave everything he could, and we have the promise that if we do all we can do, Christ, the only begotten son of God, will help us the rest of the way. We're never going to suffer as He did, and so we should as missionaries always remember that as servants of God we have an obligation to be examples of Him, and to be able to give all we have so that other souls can feel the same peace we feel. A few months ago Elder Todd D. Christofferson talked to the mission, before I was here, and he said that every missionary they send to Mexico Chihuahua, they pray for them to be strong, because it is one of the hardest AND scariest missions in the whole world.....and trust me....I've seen nightmares. But now I think, I won't stop.....in this part of the world where there is so much violence and vulgarness, I have to be here to save the souls of the people here. THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING SPIRITUALLY (and literally) ON EACH SIDE OF US WHILE WE MAKE OUR WAY THROUGH LIFE, AND SO WE HAVE TO HELP THEM.
I know that I have given two years of my life to the Lord, and there's no turning back now, now all I can do is try my hardest. I know that this church is true, because I have seen the blessings of it in my life, and the lives of others. And that is it....because of the belief in the church, I therefore believe in everything we believe to be true. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that the gospel is simple. As long as we believe, we will be saved. What more do people need to know?
So yeah, but other then my thoughts this week, we didn't have the most successful week, but we have plans to do better.
Q.A.
1.  I haven't received any more packages.....not yet.
2. On this upcoming Saturday, so in 5 days, we are all going to Chihuahua to have a mission dinner, so that will be fun!
3. For Christmas, President said that if we can find a member with a computer which we can use, we can skype, but if not we'll call. Problem is Camargo is pretty poor, so we'll see. Next week will be more details about time and everything.
4. This last week we helped these older gentlemen carry a tree across the road, so that was pretty fun :) We don't get to do much service very much!
5. So yesterday we went to this family's house, just to talk, and I've never really went into their house before, and they're one of the rich families, so their house was nice! But they did this bienvenidos thing, or welcome thing, and so we did cheers with this drink stuff. So by now I know what alcohol smells like very well, and this stuff smelled exactly like alcohol. The family are members, and so they were like, duh, we wouldn't give you alcohol...but we're still not sure....so I might have had alcohol...it was super disgusting. It was so little amount though that if it was alcohol it wouldn't affect me.....but who knows.
6. So I started the 12 days of Christmas countdown, thanks so much :) I have my little tree set up in the room!
 
So yeah, taking one day at a time, I am able to do this. Thanks for all the love and support of everyone! Always remember and thank God for what you have...I can't stress that enough!!! I love you all! Always remember that!
 
-Elder Loveless

Monday, December 9, 2013

"So I only took one pic this week. I fixed the bikes that we had, yeah all those Moab skills I have, haha. We rode the bikes for one day, and then they broke again....sad day :("


Letter - December 9th, 2013


December 9th, 2013

 Family,

Well, this last week hasn't been the greatest week of my mission, quite frankly it has been one of the weirdest. So last Monday, so a week ago, Elder Cooper was in a meeting in Chihuahua so we ended up not having a district meeting, so we just chillaxed in the house until 4, and then we worked some more. So then on Tuesday we went down to Delicias for a meeting with the zone leaders, and in that meeting we found out that Elder Cooper was going to be a zone leader for the other zone in Delicias. Also, in that zone meeting I got 3 packages, the two Christmas ones from you guys, the fam, and then one from the Tillack's, which I think is Mikey and Dana, so thanks so much :) After the meeting we went back to Camargo and we ate with the family Del Real, which like I've said before, they have the best food and are always so nice to us. They are leaving either Thursday or Friday this week, and they're going to send a package and a few letters in the states, so I don't know if the package will get there before Christmas or not, but just know it's for Christmas. So later that day not much happened, but Elder Cooper packed up so he could move to his new area in Delicias the next day.

So then on Wednesday a new elder, Elder Norris, moved in to take the place of Elder Cooper. Elder Norris is our new district leader, and he is from the same MTC district as my companion, Elder Whitney. So Elder Norris got here early that day, and he and Elder Conklin were able to make it to the food at 3. So this is why I think this week was the weirdest and most disturbing week of my mission, and it's because of this experience:

So right after we ate the food, we were walking towards the house we were going to go to next, when this woman looking person walked up to us and asked if we could talk with her about Christ and what not. Elder Whitney was saying that we had only a little bit of time, so we decided to go and teach it for 5 minutes or so. So we went in it's backyard, and it let us sit down. Notice how I say it, because it was neither a male nor female. So we started to talk, and then I started to talk a little bit about the gospel, and every time I talked it said how cute I sounded, and how cute I was. It then asked it's mom if it could buy me. Yeah we were freaked out....so we told it we had to leave, and as we were leaving it tried to show us it's room, and it told us that that room was when she was a girl. I guess it had two rooms, one for when it was a girl and one for when it was a guy. So that has been by far the worst experience of my mission, and far more disturbing than anything so far.

So then Thursday, Friday and Saturday we didn't have anything too special happen, just the normal days of work. And yesterday was also a bad day. So I was feeling fine, up until we went back to the house after church to do some study time. During study time I started to not feel so good, and I just was thinking, oh I'm just tired or something, because I was really tired. But then when we went to the food, and sat down to eat, I started to eat and just couldn't. The food was rice, beans, and this chicken stuff, and I just couldn't eat it. My stomach just felt so full, and in pain. So first I felt super bad because I hadn't eaten their food, so I asked for something to bring the food back in on, so I brought the food back. On the way back, the new elder, Elder Norris, threw up. About 15 minutes later when we were walking back I threw up as well. It was just on the side of the road and I'm pretty sure everyone was looking at me. So then when I got back to the house after the food I called Hermana Chavez and told her I just wasn't feeling good at all, and I asked if I could rest the day, and she let me. So like an hour or two later I threw up again. I tried to sleep during this time, but I was like the kind of sick that I couldn't sleep. I was in so much pain yesterday. It wasn't a good day....so today I feel better, but still I just feel exhausted, and sore from yesterday. So yeah, I feel a little bit better, but not much, just I'm not throwing up and what not. I'm thinking it might be from something I ate, but I'm not sure.

So yeah, that was my week, and my day yesterday. Thanks for the packages, and thanks for all the love and support, I can feel it every day! I love you all and hope you have a good week this week!
-Elder Loveless

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

"This is us with a guy named Cesar. He just barely got his mission call to Oaxaca, Mexico."


"This is us four a few weeks ago carrying all of this stuff which was a lot...we were amazing in ourselves!!! Ha, ha, ha!"


"Our district when we played soccer!!!"


"Us and Hermano Del Real, he's our favorite!!! Ha, ha, this was in his teeny tiny volkswagon bug! We barely fit!"


"Cool little Mexican wrapped candy!"


"I got all the leaves, that was fun!"


Letter - December 2nd, 2013

Family,

Well at this point I feel decently comfortable with the area and being in Mexico...it's weird, but I'm getting to that point where it's like I feel pretty accustomed to everything. Sure, things are still pretty different, but it has implanted it's roots as my life now, and I know I have to do it, so I gotta do it the best I can, right?! :)

But this last week there was one day that I learned a lesson that affected me big time and will help shape the rest of my mission I think. So a few days ago, Wednesday I think, we were just kind of walking around, we didn't have too solid of plans, just a few people to visit that we didn't even know if they'd be there. For like the past week I have been feeling strong about visiting this guy that we met like 2 weeks ago, and so we went to his house. Knock, knock. Nobody answered. This day was also colder, so we were just thinking, are we going to have success today or not?! So we start walking back down the street, and we walk past this guy that was hugging a tennis racket and just sitting by a house, looking super sad. This guy called to us, and then walked toward us. He started crying, and said he'd been praying for help for a while, and then we showed up. He started telling us how he works as a tennis coach because that's his passion, but he doesn't have too much success because not very many people play tennis, so therefore he doesn't have very much money. He started saying how he would get beat up when he went home every night because everyone made fun of him and what not, and it was just so sad. He said he just barely starting drinking to take away the pain he has been feeling. Just the saddest story, and he was crying the whole time, just desperate for help from God, from us. So he asked for us to say a prayer for him, so in the middle of all the ruckess of Mexico we said a prayer, and he felt more calm after he said. So we found out where he lived and then continued our day, just thinking about this man. Later that night while Elder Whitney was showering, I was writing in my journal and writing about the experience, and started crying. I started to think to myself, why do people do this to this poor guy that maybe is a little weird, but is normal. Why....and I just cried. And in that moment I got this feeling, and these words came to my mind," Zac, this is how God feels about his children." And I realized, wow, we have an obligation to all of these people, and we need to help everyone because there are people dying spiritually left and right in the world. So from that experience I experienced Godly love.....it is one experience that I will never ever forget.

So besides that, last week on P-day we went to Delicias and we played soccer on like a professional soccer turf field, that was pretty sweet!!! Also, it's freezing cold in Mexico, who would've guessed. I'm so glad that I got all of those warm things in that package, thanks :)

QA

1. So I haven't got any packages this past week, but I think this week I will be getting some, so yay!!!

2. WE HAD INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!! The churro guy and his family came to church yesterday....man was I happy! We haven't had investigators at church since before I came to Camargo, so it was a big deal!!!

3. So I had a conversation with a taxi driver, and we were just talking, and he questioned if I was from the US or Mexico. He said my accent was perfect and I could understand him like perfect. Yeah, I guess I can speak Spanish pretty well, but a long ways from perfect!

So yeah, again I'd just like to say that this church is true. I have never felt so sure about something then I do now about the church and the mission. I love the experiences I have, even though sometimes the experiences are sketchy, because this mission is preparing me for life, but also helping the people that don't have this amazing gospel in their lives. So yeah, thanks for all the love and support from everyone!! Love you all :)

-Elder Loveless

Monday, November 25, 2013

"We got all the chairs to stand like this, cool huh!"


"Here's a pic to brighten your day...yeah, there was like seriously a field of these things...disgusting huh."


"Sweet new soccer shirt I got :)"


 


Letter - November 25th, 2013

Hey Fam!!!
 
So this week has been a good and interesting week all at the same time! It all started last Wednesday when we had an all of a sudden meeting with President for the whole zone. In this meeting we practiced a lot putting baptismal dates with people and also we stressed the importance of the sacrament. So we did a lot of practice that day, which was fun, and then I realized, wow, this gospel is very simple, yet sincere and powerful. If we try to put a baptismal date with someone and they say no, or they don't feel ready yet, all we have to do is promise blessings. This usually brings the spirit. After, if we ask, "if you receive an answer that this church is true before this date, will you be baptiz cced?" then usually their answer is yes. At that point, we don't need to worry, because if they're doing the things they should do, their answer will always be yes. Once we get a date all we have to do is work hard to teach them all the lessons and get them to do the commitments.
So that night, after we got back from Delicias, we had about 2 hours to work. We decided to go visit this one guy that we haven't talked to in a while. We got a baptismal date with him....the 28th of December. The next day, we went to teach another lady, and we got what? Another baptismal date.....the 28th of December as well! But this doesn't mean we give up now, all it means is that we have to work Extremely hard to get these investigators to be baptized. Once they have a baptismal date though, they have a goal in mind, and usually will work harder toward that date. The only problem is the church attendance. Nobody wants to quit work to go to church for 3 hours. This is the hardest part, but I have been praying, and I know that Christ will help us to help them. We're so close with these people.
One thing I've realized with this work, is that I am growing to love the people like Christ loves them. Every time they do something good, I get this peace inside me. Also, whenever they do stuff that they're not supposed to do, I seriously have this sad feeling inside me. You know me, I tear up a lot. I've teared up a little talking to investigators sometimes. It's weird....I didn't know this would ever happen, but it is. Now with these dates for baptism I just have these random desires to like go to their house super early and like walk with them to church and what not....it's cuz I know that this gospel blesses lives and will bless these people's lives too. But yeah, so it's been an exciting week :)
-So I got 3 packages at the zone meeting. I got one from Grandma Val, and two from the fam! One had all my warm stuff, and the other had American food, which I love btw :) haha
-So I've gotten quite a bit of joy looking through the leaves that you guys sent me. There's the really touching ones from mom and Emma, and then the ones from Jon are like, I like your beard, and then I saw this random one from dad.....Cupcake says hi....?! I thought the leaves are why you guys are thankfull for me, but ok O.o
-So transfers were today, but none of us are getting transfered, but I'm happy, cuz I love the four of us elders in our house!
-So this last week, there's this family named Del Real. My favorite members in the ward! Every year they make a Thanksgiving feast for the missionaries, and they thought Thanksgiving was last Thursday, so Friday we had a Thanksgiving feast, it was SO good. Turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, and then the random thing, spaghetti, because like every person here serves spaghetti with everything. They always tell us we should feel at home at their house, and we do. They feel like my other set of grandparents! But they are the family that is going to the US soon and are going to send our packages/letters, so that will be awesome!
-Also, during the English class, they wanted me to give an English prayer....so I did...or at least I tried. Wow, it was so bad. I haven't really forgotten English, but a prayer in English just doesn't sound normal. I haven't said an English prayer since back in the MTC. Like when I said the prayer I was thinking in Spanish.....weird.
Well it sounds like everthing is going good, I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!!! I just want to say thanks for everything!!! I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my family!!! I love you and all, and you are always in my prayers!!
-Elder Loveless


 
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