Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"A kid in Camargo that is basically a twin of Elder Loveless."

"Elder Ruiz lifting weights :)"

"New room set up."


"Another baptism for Elder Ruiz and Elder Ante."

"A super cute dog."

Elder Loveless and Elder Ruiz

"The last pictures of the mountain."

My favorite pics . . . of us jumping!"


"Pics from on top of the mountain."

"Looking at Camargo from on top of the mountain."

"Pics from the hike. (Elder Hansgen and Elder Ruiz)"

"The baptism from last week for Elder Ruiz and Elder Ante."

March 24th - Weekly Letter

Hey Everyone, what a changing week. A good week, definitely, but also a week that was full of miracles. It is so weird to think that we can learn so much each and every week in the mission. I have 29 weeks in the mission, so imagine how much I have already learned! Oh, and I'm still here in Camargo. We have 1 more week of this cycle, so after this week we are going to see transfers, we just don't know who...so we'll find out shortly, but yep, still here in good ole Camargito :)

So it all started at the beginning of the week when we weren't having success. We literally looked at our numbers, and the people that we had and everything, and we had like nothing. Nothing. So I told Elder Hangsen, we need to find more investigators. The problem about Camargo is that the members don't want to help. Everyone says that a ward can change, but this ward no....we have worked with this ward ever since I have been here, and I'm sure much before as well. So the members almost never give us references, so we have to work on our own. The way we find investigators is by talking with people on the street. So I remember a few days ago, Tuesday or Wednesday, in the morning before we left the house I said the prayer to leave, and in the prayer I asked specifically that we could have success...that we could find not just one person, but multiple...many people. So as we went out during that day, we worked hard, and we had so much more desire to talk to people. At the end of the day we had a total of 11 visits, which is I think the most I have ever had so far, we had 3 contacts on the street that wanted us to come back and visit them, and then 3 more that became new investigators because we either taught a lesson to them or gave them a blessing. So in total we found 6 new people through our own work that day. So as we got back to the house at the end of the day Elder Hansgen told me, man your prayer really worked. I wasn't even thinking about the prayer until he said that, then I realized wow.....the power of prayer. That definitely boosted my testimony of prayer a TON!!!

So with these new investigators, and the old ones we had, we have been working very hard so that we can have a lot of success. Elder Hansgen and I were counting the people that we have, and this next month, April, it is possible for us to have 13 baptisms at this point, so if we work really hard we will be able to have 13, more or less, baptisms here in Camargo, and that is just Elder Hansgen and I. Elder Ruiz and Elder Ante are planning on having around 10ish......imagine that...around 20 baptisms in one month in Camargo....now that would be crazy, but awesome!!! So yeah, that's where we're at on our progress.

So yeah......so I just wanted to give a shout out now to my wonderful mom!!! I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday last week. I have it written on my calendar and I had it written in my agenda, I just forgot to look at my agenda last week because we didn't have much time to write last week, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I also feel really bad because there's not much I can do for your birthday, but I am sending some letters and what not, and I'm hoping to send a package as well!! I hope you don't think that I have forgotten about you or something, because obviously that's not the truth, but we are so focused on the work that at times I forget, but yesterday on your birthday I wished you a happy birthday.....I don't know if you heard it or not though ;) oh well....I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me mom!! I know for a fact that I wouldn't be here in my life if it weren't for you. At times I didn't want to do everything, but now when I look back, and look at where I'm at, I am VERY grateful for what you did for me!!! I want to be a parent just like you and dad were for me!! Thank you for everything, and especially your continued support for me on the mission!!! I love you more than you can imagine momma!!! :)

This last week I also got three packages: 2 from the fam, and 1 from Grandma Val! Thank you so much....food is always what we as missionaries want :) haha, oh and I thought the ties were super funny!! haha, thanks :) This last week I also completed 200 days in the mission.....wow....that is quite a bit of days....haha

So thanks again for everything!! I love you all so much, and I send love and support your way as well!!!

-Elder Loveless



Monday, March 17, 2014

The mountain they climbed!

Elder Loveless and his district before they climbed the mountain.

March 17th, 2014 - Weekly E-mail


So things have been super good!! A little bit hard, but super good, and yes, I'm still here in good Ole Camargo!! Actually, we don't even have transfers for another 2 weeks...2 weeks from today. I don't know if I'll get transferred or not. I have heard of another elder who was here in Camargo for I think 7 weeks, and I've even heard of missionaries that have stayed in an area for 9 months, but I think I would rather see a new area after about 6 months or so. Yeah I know the area super good and everything, but it'll be nice to see new areas because Camargo is one of the small hodunk towns of Mexico. So yeah, but we'll see in another 2 weeks, and actually, at this point I have just over 5 months in Camargo.

So this last week has been a little hard. Kind of like at the beginning of Camargo. Me and Elder Hansgen realized that the only investigators that we have at this point are people that aren't really progressing and really don't want to change either. So we realized this on Saturday I think. So yeah, now we're at the point of searching for investigators again.

Funny story for the week. So yesterday we had like a devotional-wedding reception type of thing, and right before we went we found one of our investigators that has been really hard because she has continued drinking and doesn't want to give it up, and so we found her on the street, drunk again. We asked her the last time that she had drank, and it was that morning. So the alcohol had just barely started kicking in. We thought the best thing to do was to bring her to the devotional because we would hear some spiritual thoughts and things like that, so we called a taxi and went. I guess when people are drunk and they are inside the alcohol works more, so she went kind of crazy inside the church. During the talks and stuff she started fake shooting Elder Ruiz with her hand, and then started blurting out things to the people that were giving the talks. At the end she yelled, HAPPY MARRIAGE, and it was super awkward because me and Elder Hansgen were sitting by her and everyone was looking at us. Man, she was like a little kid that we couldn't control, but at the same time, we all got a good laugh at it all. At the end, the bishop brought her back to her house, and she like grabbed my arm and almost started crying and was like, no, I'm scared, don't let them take me. It was all just a funny night.

Other than that, today, well this morning, our district climbed a mountain that is here in Camargo. It's not anything like the mountains in Utah, but it was a good climb. It was round trip like 3 hours, but it was a good district activity. That's why I'm writing so late. But yeah, so one of the members, actually the old bishop, brought us up to the mountain and actually waited for us the whole 3 hours, and then brought us back to town. So that was super fun. In Chihuahua there are not too many cool things like Dad saw in his mission, but there are a few cool things like the mountain...it was a good experience.

So yeah, thank you guys for everything, hope you all enjoy your Saint Patrick's Day!!! Love you all, and the pictures aren't really loading very well because we're in a different internet cafe, so I might send a few, but if not the next week I'll send them all. I took lots of photos of us today!!!

Love you all, talk to you in a week again!!!
-Elder Loveless

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Me and Elder Ruiz in the church bathroom, haha!"

"Us with one of the youth of the ward named Jesus."

"Birds....like Sonic :)"

"With our family who just barely got baptized."

March 10th, 2014 - Weekly Letter


So this last week was good! It was a chillax week, but in no way bad. To be completely honest, I think this last week was the most normal week that I have had yet in the mission. Like every day we just woke up, studied, went out to preach, and came home to go to bed. Well there was one little tweak, but that was just because we had a zone meeting last Tuesday. So yeah, I'll try to give more details...

So last Monday in the afternoon, like after we wrote and everything, the missionaries from Saucillo came to Camargo and we played a little bit of soccer. We had our district meeting after that, and then that was about it for Monday. On Tuesday we had our zone meeting, and so we arrived in Delicias at 10:00 a.m, and then we were at our meeting from 10-2. It was a good meeting! The rest of the day was just normal as well, until the night. Because Tuesday was my 6 month mark, at night we went in the backyard and I burned a tie. It's a tradition for the missionaries to burn a tie for the 6 month mark, so that's what I did! It was pretty funny. We all did a little dance around the fire singing, boogalooga.

The rest of the week, Wednesday through Sunday wasn't much different than any other day. Throughout the days though we have found some new investigators which has been pretty sweet! One of the best parts of the teaching is when you find a new investigator and just barely start to teach them. The first few lessons are like always the best! Sadly, this Sunday we didn't have any investigators at the church. It's been a while since we haven't had anybody, but it's okay. It's bound to happen at least a few times. So yeah!

So lately I've been studying the Book of Mormon really good so that I can know the Book of Mormon super super good, like the stories and everything. Right now I'm in Alma 3. I'm reading the book kind of slow but it's because I'm taking notes on every chapter. I have a little notebook and I'm keeping notes in it for every chapter, so I'm really trying to analyze all of the details. Oh I forgot, on Sunday I actually gave a talk and that was super fun. Giving a talk is actually kind of fun now! I talked about the 2nd coming and how it is near. I put a lot more into it though. So yeah. Other than that, the Book of Mormon is amazing! There couldn't be a more true book in all of the world, and I have a testimony of that!

So yeah, thanks for all the continued love and support! The missionary work never ceases to amaze me! The mission life is the life to go ;) Love you all so much! Take care!!
-Elder Loveless

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 4th, 2014 - Happy Bump Day!!! Zac's 6 month mark!! Only 18 more months to go!!


Baptism Pics

March 3rd, 2014 - Weekly Letter


            This week was an amazing week full of miracles.  Little miracles, big miracles and everything in-between.  With all the miracles it has also been a hard week with Satan working hard so that our investigators didn't get baptized, but they did!!! It's so cool to look back at the beginning of this journey of the family, the family Ramos Garnica, and to see all of the changes and just everything that has happened.  It all started in the beginning of January...

     So Elder Ruiz and Elder Conklin were just walking down the street and saw the dad and one of the sons sweeping the street in a far away neighborhood.  They decided to help him and then he invited them and us to return to their house to talk with them and what not.  That night Elder Ruiz returned to the house and told us that he found a family that was going to get baptized, and little did we know that it was 100% the truth. A lot of times when we really feel that people are going to get baptized they don't, and that's the saddest, but yeah. 

        So we went back and the very first visit with them they had already wanted to be baptized and invited us to come back to their house every day.  From that day and forward we went to their house almost every day.  They were more than prepared for their baptism.  During the process we saw tons of changes, starting with their house.  Their house was super dirty and what not, and within a week their house was clean, and within another week they were inviting us to eat with them. The sons weren't fighting anymore, their little sister started talking with us more, and the dad quit drinking and smoking and everything.  The very first day we went to their house there were alcohol bottles, but ever since that first day there was never another bottle of alcohol in that house, nor cigarettes.

      By the time their baptism came around, the sons were praying as if they had always been members, and the mom said the closing prayer for the baptism and just started crying during her prayer.  I had the chance to baptize the oldest son, 14 years old, and when he came up he hugged me, and then after he told me he felt so different, like light, and clean...pure.  The whole family was so happy the day of their baptism, and it was so cool to see them all dressed in white.  Yesterday also, after church when we visited them, the son that is 14 years old told us he wants to go out and preach with us, so that is going to be super fun!  He also calls me his dad, so that's pretty funny!!

     So yeah, everything with the baptism went over well, and also we have just been doing good lately. We have been finding a lot of people, and we have been becoming really good friends with a lot of people. For example when we have to use a taxi the same guy always comes to pick us up, and it's always a lot cheaper cuz he likes us.  Also, people have been asking us to come eat with them like all the time. It's awesome.....it's pretty cool being a missionary. But also really hard....especially with the heat. March 3rd and it's still getting hotter.  Hope I survive the summer. 

    Also this last week we had a meeting with President and I got 3 packages.  A Valentine's package from Grandma Barbara, the one package from Aunt Margie, and a Valentine's package from you guys!!! So even though it was a little bit late for Valentine's Day, it was super fun to celebrate Valentine's Day late ;) haha

    So thanks for everything!!!  Things are going good here! At times it is very hard, the missionary work, and on top of that the heat and everything, but when we see the baptisms, everything changes!!!  This work is amazing! Thanks for supporting me in everything!

   I just wanted to share my testimony now. My testimony after 1/4th of my mission:

I know this church is true.  It can't be false because it has everything that a church of Christ has to have, and on top of that I have seen so many blessings through this gospel and living it.  The Book of Mormon is true as well.  Not only is it proof that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God, but the verses apply to us in these latter days, and they have helped me in the mission up to this point. I know that Christ lives and his hand is in our every day lives.  I also have a strong testimony of the priesthood, and that as long as we live worthy and have faith, the priesthood never fails....I have seen miracles from the priesthood here in my mission. 

I love you all

-Elder Loveless