Monday, May 26, 2014

"The missionaries from Lagos!! Last day together as a ward with our mission leader." (Elders Loveless, Mendoza, Mission Leader, Neuman, Woods)

May 26th, 2014 - Weekly Letter


This last week has been good.....but let's just say that I think the Lord wants us to learn something. So we have been doing an activity lately to get the members to give us references of the people they know, and it has been really good, in the aspect of getting the references. So we have been asking the members, when we visit them, to write down ALL of the people that they know that come to their mind while we sing a hymn, and then after we say a prayer to ask God who of those people would be ready to hear the gospel....and it's been working good. We received a lot of references. And we even saw some of the fruits of the activity. With one sister, she felt good about one name, and so she invited this person to eat with us and her the next day, so we went to her house and we talked a little bit and it was really cool. She said the next day she would come again to visit with us, and didn't show up. We called her and she said the next day, and didn't show up again and doesn't answer us any more, so that was kind of hard, especially when we thought we found success. And so we started to visit all of the other references that the members had given us, and all of them rejected us. We haven't found one that has accepted us. So that was hard. About 80% more or less of the people in Mexico are Catholics, so the answer is always the same. I'm Catholic, I was born Catholic, and I will die Catholic. It saddens me every time because the majority of the people don't even know what they believe in....they're just Catholic because they were baptized when they were babies.

So yeah, we saw that the references haven't been working, so we started talking with everyone on the streets. They accepted us....but nobody lives in our area. The thing about this area is that it is probably the richest area in ALL the mission, and there are a lot of fancy things in the area, so a lot of people come from all around the city, so the people that actually live in the area are usually in their houses, which we can't do anything about because we can't knock on doors. So that is a hard thing, but a good thing at the same time. We are all working for the same cause, so we are giving a TON of people to other missionaries, but we don't have any work for ourselves. Actually, we had to drop some investigators that weren't progressing this last week because they haven't progressed at all in forever.

So that's been the situation here. And on top of that, yesterday we received some hard, but good at the same time, news. Yesterday they closed our ward, Lagos. It doesn't exist anymore. The stake president said it was because the ward was inactive for too long...which I don't know exactly what that means, but there was no progression in the ward. We found out that this area is one of the hardest areas in the whole mission, because the mission president told us as missionaries to not worry and not be sad, because it's not our fault. The area has been dead forever. But that just makes me want to have success more because then we can show that miracles exist. So now half of the ward is going to one ward, and the other half to another ward. So that was kind of weird.....a lot of the members were crying because Lagos has existed for a long time!

But in all of these hardships we have seen success. This last week we got a reference from the zone leaders of a widow. So we went to her house, and we realized that her husband was a member, but she never had the chance to get baptized, but her husband already passed away. So she wants to be able to see him again and live with him forever, so we are preparing her baptism for June, so she is cool, but very very old. All of these hardships remind me of Ammon and his brothers that go to teach the Lamanites, but have way more failures than successes, but it tells us in Alma 26 that they suffered with patience, and then the Lord blessed them. They ended up starting to convert people, including some of their leaders, and that eventually led to the Lamanites living more righteous than the Nephites.

Although we have these hardships, I know we will see success. We are already seeing it, although it is only one person, that is one more person that is going to come unto Christ. If we suffer with patience, I have a firm testimony that the Lord really will bless us. And apart from these afflictions, I have seen a lot of progress with my personal testimony! I have learned a lot, and continue to learn every day! I know that the most important part of the mission is to returned convert, so I strive for that every day!

Thanks for all the love and support! I'm excited to see a new week here in what was once you all!!

-Elder Loveless


Friday, May 23, 2014

"This is me AFTER eating the incredibly hot chips...I almost died!"

"The spiciest chips ever!!!!!!! One of them literally says 'caution'...haha!"

May 19th, 2014 - Weekly Letter


It sounds like everything is going super good with everyone!!! I can't believe that the school year for you guys is already pretty much over. I left on the mission shortly after it! So this last week was really good! I was able to go on divisions with one of the zone leaders, but not Elder Ruiz, our other zone leader, Elder Ramos.

So on Monday we had our normal p-day! Not much happened.

On Tuesday we were able to get an accepted baptismal invite. I don't know if you guys remember when I talked a little bit about someone named Gaby?! But yeah, she has a twin named Rojelio, and he's like always in the house, so we've been teaching him lately, and we invited him to be baptized, and he accepted. The only problem with him is that he goes to way too many parties, and parties aren't necessarily a bad thing, but in Mexico they are!

Wednesday was a normal day....but abnormally hot.

On Thursday we had a meeting with President Chavez, and it was awesome because a lot of the elders from my old zone are now in Chihuahua. I saw Elder Hansgen, and Elder Ellis (from the MTC), and everyone else again! But man, the meeting with President was amazing! We learned how to use 3 different types of questions to help the people actually put in practice what they learn. We have put it into practice and it has been working amazingly! But that day, Thursday, after the meeting, I went with Elder Ramos to his area, and let me just say his area is super humble, and there are a TON of investigators there. It was so cool to work with him.

On Friday, with Elder Ramos, we worked hard, but he said that it wasn't THAT great of a day. We made like 3 or 4 baptismal invites and they all accepted. Elder Ramos is just wonder he is a zone leader.

On Saturday....well let's just say it was crazy. We ended the day with 16 visits. A new record for me and him. I think the most time we were not talking with someone during the day was like 5 minutes. We were in constant teaching the whole day!!! Man was I tired at the end of the day.

And then on Sunday we left the house at like 7:45 to pass for investigators, and we passed for like 22 investigators....only 3 investigators came to church. But hey, although it is a little sad, that is still 3 souls! So that was cool! Later, nothing really happened. I returned to my area with Elder Mendoza, and so now I'm here in Lagos again :)

But yeah, so I learned so much from Elder Ramos, and so this week I'm going to step it up a notch more, and see how everything turns out! Oh, also, I got two packages from the fam!! An Easter package and a summer package! Thanks so much :) I hadn't had candy in a while, American candy, so that was good!!! haha, but again, thanks so much! The little notebooks are sweet too, oh and the book about teaching and learning by the spirit, I started it last night, and I'm learning a ton from it. I learned that the most important thing that a missionary should learn while on the mission is how to recognize the spirit and how to make decisions with it. If we truly learn how to use the spirit in our normal lives we will have a life, and a family, how God wants us to have it! If we do everything in the Lord's way, we will truly be blessed!

But yeah, I love to see what you guys are up to! Thanks for all the love and support! I hope you all have a good last week of school (and week and a half for Jon)!! Love you all!!!

-Elder Loveless

Oh, and so for my birthday, I was thinking if maybe I could have a new camera, and I'll tell you why. So my camera doesn't have a case, so it has gotten kinda dirty and the photos don't turn out as good, and yeah....I don't think it's going to last the 2 that's why I say a camera (and a case) so that it doesn't get ruined. Oh, and I would also like some of that gel that dad bought me before the mission!!!! With those two things (three things with the case) I would be satisfied!!!


Monday, May 12, 2014

"The food at one of the restaurants we ate at."

"Me and Elder Mendoza at KFC."

"Me and Elder Whitney"

May 12th, 2014 - Weekly E-mail


Hey everybody! So I loved talking with you guys as well last night. It was kind of funny because for like an hour before 7:30 I kept telling Elder Mendoza that I was so nervous to talk and see you guys, I don't know why, but I just felt nervous, but once we started talking it was good again! I love how mom was like talking the whole time!!! Oh my good ole mommy :) But yeah, it was super good. The sister was so embarrassed, it was kind of funny. Luckily dad speaks Spanish, because before she talked she said that she doesn't know anything in English! Haha, she's a funny sister, Hermana Aide, but it's kinda funny because she reminds me exactly of Miss Proper! It's kinda funny!!! But yeah, how exciting as well that you only have 2 weeks of school left. I always loved and hated the last little bit of school....but they're good times!!! Thanks for being an awesome family :) I loved seeing Tiff and Jeff and the boys too...oh and of course I loved seeing Emily ;) But yeah, so this last week was good but kind of hard as well.....Satan didn't want us to have success, but we fought on.

On Monday Elder Neuman was able to get his new companion, Elder Woods, and I was able to see a lot of other elders like Elder Whitney again (mi papa), Elder French from the MTC, Elder Beifuss from the MTC as well, and other elders that I have met here in the mission, so it was a good little reunion.

On Tuesday, well I'm not even going to talk about Tuesday....let's just say that it wasn't a very good day. I don't think anyone was in their houses, and people didn't want to talk to us. But it's alright, because we pulled it back together on Wednesday.....we always have a few hard days, but we press on!

The reason Wednesday was good was because we had a zone meeting and we got recharged spiritually again. It was a good meeting to reanimate us!!! Later that day we ate with one of the sisters, and she literally prepared an amazing meal for us. I've never seen a sister prepare like she did. She decorated her house like Hawaii, and we ate salmon and other Hawaiian food. It was super fun.

Thursday was good too! We started having more success, and 8 of us missionaries ate with one of the sisters, it was super cool....but she gave us SO much food that I literally couldn't finish it. I felt kinda bad.

On Friday not much happened, but we did do an activity with one of the member families and we were able to get 3 references with an address, and 4 more without an address, so that was really good. We're now thinking about doing it with other member families to get more references.

On Saturday NOBODY was home. The city was DEAD...and it was because May 10th is always Mother's day in Mexico. So we didn't have too many visits, but we were able to do some service which was fun. Elder Mendoza also called his mom on Saturday and we ate at a super good restaurant. One of the members gave us 500 pesos (or like 50 dollars) to eat so we ate good :)

And of course Sunday was good because I was able to talk to you all!!! It was also dead the whole day, but we were able to have a few visits.

The zone leaders called us and we found out that none of our district has transfers, so we're all safe. It's good, because Elder Mendoza is a good leader and I have learned a lot from him and am excited to learn more from him.

Thanks to you mom for everything, and I hope you had a good Mother's Day yesterday. I'm glad I was able to talk to you!! I couldn't have asked for a better mom!!! I love you, and I don't think I can describe in words how thankful I am for you!!! But thanks for all your help and love in my decision to serve a mission!!!

And thanks to you all!!! Thanks for all the love and support through everything!! I love you all so much!!! Have a good week!!!! CTR!!!!!

-Elder Loveless


Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5th, 2014 - Weekly E-mail


So this last week was really good. Well was good, but it was kind of another crazy week. It wasn't by any means normal. But yeah.

So Monday was normal. Elder Mendoza ran out of money because he had to pay for the gas which was super expensive, so I had to buy him food. We spent quite a bit on food.

Tuesday was also good! We got to visit one of our investigators named Elisa...the one that we knocked on her door and she let us in. We clarified some of the things that we weren't sure about the last visit, and so we got on common ground again. That night she said that she felt really good about the Book of Mormon, but that she still felt comfortable in her church. She did say that she would continue reading the Book of Mormon and asking God if it is true though. She also committed to going to church with us...not yesterday, but this next week because she was a little busy yesterday. We're getting progress slowly but surely.

On Wednesday me and Elder Mendoza fasted because we realized that we needed a LOT of help from God to get Elisa to know of the truthfulness of the church. Let me just say it was extremely hard. In the mission we always fast for 24 hours, and that day was WAY too hot. And to just make it even better, when it was time to end the fast and we went to the sister's house to eat, she wasn't me and Elder Mendoza had to walk back to our house and make something with the food that we had. Yeah, we think it was because God was trying us to see if we were really going to last the fast. And we did it!!!

Thursday....normal day.....nothing special.

Friday we had random transfers, well not Elder Mendoza nor I, but one of the other elders in the ward...Elder Nolasco. So....on Friday he went to the offices, and his companion, the one that hurt his leg the other week, Elder Neuman, came with us and we became a trio. He is still with us, but today at 4 he is going to the offices to get his new companion. But it was pretty fun with us three, but I think Elder Mendoza was getting annoyed of us because he is a lot more serious, and Elder Neuman and I are a lot more funny, not in a bad way of course, but yeah.
Saturday with us three, Elder Mendoza had me lead the whole day, even though I'm still junior companion, so that was kinda fun. It's a lot different when you have to lead, because in the lessons you talk more, and just lead everything. At the end of the day Elder Mendoza said that I did a good job!!!

On Sunday, because it was fast and testimony Sunday, we fasted again, but it wasn't AS hard because we had church. But yesterday was just so amazing. So we have been working with one of the families of the ward and we have got them to read their scriptures again and to pray more frequently, and we're just helping them a lot, and so we invited all of them to fast and bear their testimonies. They weren't really sure if they wanted to, but we left the invitation with them. So yesterday, there weren't very many members for the first 10-15 minutes of testimony meeting sharing their testimonies, so us three got up and bore our testimonies, after, the whole family got up and all of them bore their testimonies. It was amazing for us to see. Just that family influenced others, because for like the whole rest of the time which was like 30ish minutes, everyone wanted to bear their testimony. It was just cool to see that our work with this family has been bringing many good changes to them. It has got me thinking that the success is not Only in the baptisms, but also in the personal conversion and also in the members and less-actives.

So one of our zone leaders just got made assistant, so we found out our new zone leader and guess who it is?! Elder Ruiz..from Camargo!!! haha, I'm excited that he is our new zone leader because he's super awesome!!!
So I haven't gotten the Easter package yet, but this week the zone leaders are going to the offices so we're gonna see if I get it this week. Also, tell Brother Perez that I have tried the Mennonite cheese. Actually, I eat it like every's amazing :) We always make quesadillas with that cheese, and also with a meat called Chorrizo. Oh, and tell Brother Medford hi too.
So on Saturday I'm going to be able to skype. Saturday at 5:00pm, so just make sure that dad is on his account at that time..well, probably better if he is on a little bit before that time. But yeah, so I'm super excited for that!!!

Thanks for everything my amazing family!!! One third of the way through, and you all have helped me every step of the way!!! Thanks....Love you all MuChOs!!!!!
-Elder Loveless


"We thought this bird needed the Plan of Salvation." (The bird is dead - my son is nuts :))

"Funny means: I don't eat breakfast because I think about you...I don't eat lunch because I think about you...I don't eat dinner because I think about you...and at night I don't sleep...because I'm hungry. Haha!"

"The best drink in all the world." (Milk with mango)

"This was a dog I started petting and when I stopped petting it, it got mad and almost bit I had to keep petting it." (He's literally sitting on the sidewalk - hilarious!)

"The 4 of us in Lagos." (Zac's district)

Elder Mendoza and Elder Loveless