Saturday, October 25, 2014

"The first bagels that I found here in Mexico...yeah of course I bought them!!!"

"Pics with the sister missionaries - Hermana Lozano y Hermana Escareno."

"I made cookies with the sugar cookie package that you gave me in the Halloween package."

"Pics with a chicken guy from the restaurant Pollo Feliz."

October 25th, 2014 - Melodie got to go to lunch with some Chihuahua missionary moms and dads. It was a blast. There was Elder Rolapp's parent, and moms for Elders Hansgen, Glenn, McKay and Blanchard. So fun!!

October 25th, 2014 - Weekly Letter

           I loved the pictures that you sent me!  It looks like you guys had a ton of fun!  It's just weird to see everyone growing up!  But yeah, glad to see that everyone is doing good. Here in the offices everything is also going good. We've been really busy this last week because of the new missionaries that are coming but it's been all good.
            So it all started with the beginning of the week.  So there were two elders that went home, but it was kind of weird because their flights weren't the same day, so on Monday we woke up at about 4 a.m, and then the whole day was a bit hard, but then the next day we woke up at 2 to bring the other elder to the I was really, really tired.  Those were some crazy days....but I always like to see after everything that happens what I learn from those experiences, and I think that God was trying my patience, because those days I just received SO many calls, and I just wanted to tell everyone to stop calling me, but I kept working, and I think I saw more in detail the love of God for His children.  It's non-stop. God is constantly involved with everyone of us here in the world. We maybe don't know how it works, but we do know that it works, so I realized that no matter how tired I may be, my priorities need to be in helping satisfy the needs of the missionaries.  One day I'll be able to rest from all this, so for now I need to work hard and do all I can.
              Also this last week we bought stuff for the new areas, and it was just a big problem because we wanted to buy bases for the beds and so the guy at Walmart scanned a tag that was on the bases that wasn't even the right tag, and he didn't realize it, so after we bought everything and had already gotten back to the offices in Chihuahua, he called us and told us what had happened, and we would have to go back and change it and all this stuff, so it all kinda just got messed up.  So I have been seeing even more how God has been testing me.....but with every challenge I feel that I leave stronger.  It's definitely not fun in the moment, but after it's all worth it.  So yeah, a lot of things this week have been falling apart, but I've been learning a lot, so that's really good, and I've really learned a lot about making the best of the day and laughing at small things...that always helps.  But it really hasn't been a bad week.  I got a lot of good work done, like for example something called One Time Credit that I did, got approved by the church offices. A one time credit is where we get money back for things that we have bought for new areas that get opened so that we don't go above the budget. So that got approved, and it was a lot of money, so that is really going to help us to end under the budget this year!  So there were some great accomplishments, so that was good! But now we have to make the final touches for the new missionaries that are arriving Monday. There are going to be 10 from the United States, so it's awesome.
                     But yeah, that's about it for the week. But I'm glad that you guys had a great week too!! Thanks for all the support every week! Oh and have a great Halloween. Be safe, especially during Halloween!!!  Remember that patience is a virtue!!! Have a great week!  Love you all!!!
-Elder Loveless

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 19th, 2014 - Weekly Letter

               Well I hope everyone is doing good in California.  Just remember to keep safe and have a lot of fun.  But yeah. Everything has been going good here in Chihuahua.  I've been thinking a little bit about school and stuff, but I'll explain that at the end of the email.
                So this week was good!  It was a very busy week too. I thought I was going to start to have time to leave more, but the work here increased. It's good though, and I like it.  But yeah, we have had to start preparing for the new missionaries that are going to come in a week from Monday.  We're going to have like 14ish missionaries that are coming to the mission, and like 9 of them are Americans, and few are leaving, so we are going to open 4 areas.  I have had to prepare something call a One Time Credit, which is a way to receive money just for new areas that are going to be opened because we have already passed our budget for furniture for the year.  So that's been going good, I'm actually almost done.  I just need a few final touches and then President needs to sign it, but so far so good.  
                  Yesterday morning we dropped off two missionaries at the airport that finished their time in the mission, and so we had to wake up at 4:30 a.m.  The funny thing is last night President asked us to do something that had to be ready today, so we were in the offices until about 2:30 this morning. So it was a long, long day.  Almost 24 hours awake.....but yeah, it was definitely crazy.  Also this last week President had a meeting with us that was amazing!  He explained the repentance process more in depth, and he explained it better. He explained that the first step of repentance isn't just recognizing that you've sinned, but it's recognizing that you have offended God.  He gave some more examples, but it made me think a lot more, that a lot of times I just recognize that I did something wrong, but then later I do it again.  But if we realize that  we have offended God, then we won't want to sin again, because it hurts more....we can really tell how God feels, and it's not fun.  It definitely doesn't feel good, and then we become better people.  So that was an amazing meeting that he had with us.  
                   Also we have seen a huge miracle.  The zone leaders found a guy that lives in our area who's name is Andres, and they taught him for the first time, but come to find out that he was receiving the missionaries like 3 years ago, and went to church a ton, but never felt right about baptism, but now he does feel ready.  He told us that he wanted to get baptized as soon as possible, so he's getting baptized later today at 7 p.m.  It was just crazy because we just barely, barely met him, but he's getting baptized today.  It's just crazy how the Lord hastens his work in HIS time, and not ours.  So yeah, super excited for him!!!
                 But yeah, that's about all that's going on here in the mission and in the offices. We'll see on Monday if I end up leaving or not, because if I start training then I'll be leaving, but if not I'll be staying. But whatever happens I'm just happy to be in the mission!!
                 For college though, I was reading what Mom sent me and what Dad told me and then also Emily's dad e-mailed me and gave me some advice for college too, and other people. So I've been thinking about what everyone has said, and I've decided to apply for a few colleges and then when the time gets closer I can decide exactly what school I'll be attending.  But just so you are informed (especially mom) I want to apply to Snow (well I think I'm already in, but yeah), BYU Provo, and Utah Valley.  I have decided that I want to go to one of these schools.  I would probably stay with you guys for at least like a year if I went to BYU or Utah Valley, and then with family if I went to Snow.  I would also love to take the tracks, and Utah Valley and BYU would be compatible with that, so that would be sweet. But yeah, I think I need more time of praying to know exactly where to go, so for now I would like to apply for these schools!!!
                But yeah, so that's all of the details of everything going on right now! Thanks for everything Fam!! Love you all so much! Have a great week!!!

-Elder Loveless

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 12, 2014 - Weekly Letter

              I'm glad to see that everyone is doing good and that everyone is happy!  I love how you are all starting to put in to practice what our leaders taught us last week.  The hard part is being able to keep doing it now and always.  I'm also super jealous that you guys all got to see Meet the Mormons.  Being in the offices, I have seen like all of the commercials for it, and we all have David Archuleta's song that is in the movie, but we haven't seen it.  For now it's not going to come to Mexico, but I hope that eventually it will.  But when it comes out on dvd you should definitely send it to me.  Is it getting colder over there in Utah?! Here in Chihuahua it's still really hot.  And also, in 2 more days I complete one year exactly here in Chihuahua Mexico. It's super crazy.  It's weird to think that like a year ago I was boarding a plane to go to a foreign land, and now I've been in that land for a year now, and now it is normal for me.  But I like it alot!!! Oh, and just wanted to wish you guys happy vacations!!!  It'll be awesome, especially at this time of year because it's starting to cool off more.
                So my week last week was good.  I don't really feel like too many new things happened.  I'm still not 100% sure if I'll be leaving soon, because the Assistants have been hinting at keeping me here, so we'll see. There are 2 more weeks of the cycle, and so far I'm not training, but I'll keep you all updated with any changes that happen.  But yeah, I'd be fine with staying for longer because I do like being financial secretary, but I'd also be fine with leaving. Whatever the Lord wants me to do I'll do. 
                 We did see some miracles this last week with the missionaries from our district. I ended up doing 2 interviews for people that weren't going to be baptized in the first place, and it was super cool. Yesterday was a great miracle as a lady named Claudia decided to be baptized.  She wasn't planning on being baptized so fast, but the sister missionaries helped her come to realize that she did need to be baptized. She then asked me to baptize her, and it was awesome. She was a little bit nervous, but after she was so so happy and grateful.  It's so cool to know people before they are investigators and then after they get baptized.  The gospel changes lives, and I love it, because it has changed my life too...especially here in the mission.  
                    But yeah, so that's the cool parts of my week. There are viruses on our computers so for that reason I haven't been able to send photos.  But thanks for everything you guys do, and I hope you all have a great week!!

Love you all
-Elder Loveless

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekly Letter - Sunday, October 4th, 2014 (No pics this week though, the computer wouldn't work!)

             Hey everyone!!! What a good week here in the mission, and it certainly sounds like you guys had a great week too.  I think I talked a little about this the last General Conference, but for us missionaries General Conference is the coolest thing ever. It's funny because I keep comparing my attitude to General Conference to before the mission and now, and there are a lot of changes.  Before I was always excited when the final prayer was being given on the Sunday afternoon session, and now I'm super sad....I would love for Conference to be longer. Also before I would sleep during the talks, and now if somebody is making noises or something I get bugged.  I have really come to love our leaders and have come to feel the spirit more while they speak to us.  One of the coolest feelings I get when our leaders talk is the feeling that the spirit gives us confirming the truthfulness of the messages being shared by our leaders. I like how even a few of our leaders talked about that these last two days, how if we search for personal conviction we will receive it...but only if we really want it.  Isn't it awesome to hear President Monson's testimony of Christ...somebody who has actually seen and conversed with him?!  I always get butterflies hearing his testimony about our Savior. It is so simple yet powerful.  
                  But yeah, other than General Conference this week was good.  It was more of a normal week. I am feeling a lot more comfortable with being Financial Secretary.  Last week since it was the start of a new month, I had to deposit all of the monthly money (Mensualidad in Spanish), and it was the first time, so after that I think now I feel better about everything, because now I have confronted pretty much all of the jobs of a Financial Secretary.  But that's nice because now I'm not sooooo stressed out. 
                     We saw a miracle this last week though of how the Lord is hastening his work and not us.  Me and Elder Beifuss don't necessarily leave the offices to work unless we have a special investigator or something special to do, like eating with the members, so we don't really contact people on the street or anything, but this last week we got a referral from a member from a different ward who told us that his brother's wife wasn't a member but wanted to know the church more and possibly get baptized.  Sadly, we haven't been able to go due to this busy weekend and other stuff that happened, but it is proof to me that the Lord is hastening his work, and we just have to be spiritually in touch to be able to respond to his voice when he talks/whispers to us.  
                      Also Elder Cooper and I were walking to get a haircut the other day when we found a lady that was struggling to carry a lot of grocery we decided to help her.  She is Catholic but we found out that she believes in more of the things that we believe in, like how we only worship God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost and not other Saints.  It was a really cool experience and she invited us to come back this next week so we're going to go back to visit her.  
                     Now I would just like to share a few of my favorite parts from General Conference:
I noticed that a lot of the talks were focused on Christ, and so that was an amazing way to start off the conference with Boyd K Packer testifying of the importance of what Christ did for us.   After him was Lynn G Robbins burning our eyebrows with his words about only serving God and not man.  And then to end the session was Dieter F Uchtdorf with his talk about getting our own testimonies, and how God will always answer our prayers.  In the second session I liked Neil L Anderson's talk a lot when he talked about how opposition sends truth seekers to their knees, therefore it is necessary.   I think one of my favorite quotes was in Priesthood session when President Monson said," A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.  He's never going to make it back to home-port." I also liked a lot how a lot of talks today were about personal revelation.  Man...I just liked everything didn't I...and I didn't even mention everything that I liked!!!
                        But yeah.....just like how some of the people gave their talks in their home languages, I would like to give my testimony in Spanish:
                       Yo se que los profetas son llamados por Dios y que Dios habla no solamente con ellos, sino con nosotros tambien.  Se que la revelacion personal es disponible para todos los hijos de Dios, o sea todos nosotros.  Dios nos ama tanto que envio a su hijo Jesucristo...para morir y sufrir para que un dia nosotros podamos viver de nuevo con ellos.  Yo Se que Jesucristo vive y que si vivimos de acuerdo con las enseƱanzas que nos ha dado, viviremos felices aqui en este mundo y en el mundo venidero.  Les amo a ustedes, deseo lo mejor para ustedes y mi familia futura.  Gracias por todo, y que tenga una buena semana!!!!

Thanks for everything!!  Have a great week, and remember to do what Richard G Scott taught us to do to have eternal life:
Pray always, as a family and personally
Read, Study and Ponder the scriptures daily. It is more important than sleep itself!
Family home evening EVERY WEEK!!! Don't let your busy schedules get in the way.
And Go to the temple often!

I love you all so much!!!  Have a great week!!

-Elder Loveless