Monday, July 29, 2013

Maria's Baptism


wooow it is almost August! This week went well. We had a little more success in finding more investigators to teach. And supposedly we should be at the high peak of hot weather but I havent felt too hot. Now that I have become accostomed to hot weather I am sure that I am going to literally freeze when I return to Washington haha.

Maria fernanda got baptized on Saturday! Not many members attended who werent family members but she has alot of family in the stake so there were alot of people. She seemed to really enjoy it and was smiling the whole time. Afterwards we ate tamales and cake. I am really happy that I had the opportunity to teach her and we should be seeing her alot still since she is a recent convert. We visit recent converts at least twice a week.

On friday we had our consejo de liderazgo. I enjoyed it and learned about how I can help our zone to improve and how I can better carry out the plans that we make. President wants us to put more emphasis on street contacting now. Back in November they told us that we werent allowed to contact people and recently that changed but most missionaries still dont contact at all in the street. It is going to be hard to get that to change because alot of missionaries feel nervouse about contacting people in the street and now there are a ton of missionaries who have never street contacted before because they came during the period in which we couldnt contact people. I guess they are letting us contact now becasue we have learned how to work more with members and now we dont plan to go "contacting or knocking on doors", but now they want us to do both things but without planning time to go contact.

We have had an investigator named Claudio but this week we have started to teach his whole family (almost except for his mom) and they all accepted baptisimal dates for September! They seem really interested and we will see how everything goes.

We stopped by the office this morning but my package wasnt there :( and they just went to the post office Wednesday last week. Maybe I just have super bad luck or the price for candy and EFY CD´s has gone up in the black market.

I hope colin enjoys his 50 mile backpacking trip´. I remember that it was super difficult when I went on one when I was 14. It was a lot of fun though. Ahhh Tanner is getting married! crazy, send me some photos and the details. and mom yeah we are going to be recieving American sister missionaries in my mission. Right now there are 3 coming but they wont get here until the day I leave. We have never had sister missionaries from the states here from what I know.

I love you all and hope you all enjoy the first few days of the best month on earth!

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, July 22, 2013

Going to Have a Baptism!

¡Buenas tardes!

This week went by really really fast. We made a goal to increase the number of families that we are teaching, and we saw alot of help from the Lord to guide us to more families to teach. A young man named Max invited on of his friends from school over to eat with us when we came over to eat with his family (his mom always uses chili habanero and it makes the food suuuper spicy). His friend was only 11 years old so we couldnt teach him as a new investigator, but we asked him for his address so that we could teach his whole family, Later in the week a found his mom and found out that she and all of her family were baptized in another city but stopped going to church a long time ago but is really interested in learning about the gospel again and coming to church. Her kids arent members though. We´ll see how things go with her and her family.

María had her baptisimal interview on Saturday and she passed! she is going to get baptized on saturday! we are really excited and so is she. It seems like alot of baptisms will be coming from less active families that didnt baptize their kids when they were 8, but thats ok because we are reactivating families and helping them to get back on track. Reactivating a family is just as good as a baptism.

There is a ward in our zone that hasnt had missionaries for 5 months, I dont know why. we heard that there was an investigator who wanted to get baptized, but hasnt been able to do so becasue the ward doesnt have missionaries. President told us that in early august he is oging to put missionareis there but in the meantime my companion and I will be teaching this investigator in the chapel accompanied by a member of his ward. We met him on Sunday and he is a pretty cool guy. He has experienced alot of changes since he started to investigate the gospel because his girlfriend invited him to church a million times (because he kept saying no) so he is really set on being baptized.

We did another exchange and I got to go to another area. To be honest, I really dont like leaving my area and sleeping in another persons bed and knowing that they will be sleeping in my bed, but i enjoy being able to get to know the other missionary and the people that they are teaching. We have alot to teach the zone, but we arent sure how to make it happen exactly because if we try to teach them everything at once it probably wont be as efective. I think we will start with how to plan effectivly and set goals and make plans to achieve those goals.

We had the idea to schedule appointments in the chapel and have more lessons there and maybe get it into a weekly thing in which for one whole day we will teach all of our lessons in the chapel. To be honest, that would be sweeeeet becasue there arent any distractions, its a spiritual place, and it has air conditioning.

no I havent gotten a package, but this next friday is the consejo de liderazgo so I should get it then if it arrived in the mission (I really hope so!).

it sounds like things are pretty crazy with getting abby potty trained. It is probably easier struggling with this right now then later needing to change her diapers for the rest of her life.

I love you all very much! I had a dream that Ryan had taken my guitar and broken it and I almost woke up crying.

Con amor,

Elder Johns

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love Has the Power to Change


Weeks are days and days are hours. Time has started to go by faster as Ive gotten even more settled into this new area and have gotten to know the mebmers. We are already half way through July adn I just need to survive the heat for the rest of july, august, and then towards the end of september we might even have some cold days.

This past week went by fast. On tuesday we prepared everything for a Zone Class that we we had on Wensday. In the classes we usually train the missionaries on what we talked about in the consejo de liderazgo meeting of all the zone leaders with president. This time The president wanted to see how we do in relaying the information so he paired up all the zones to give the class on certain days so that it would be easier for him to attend. The assistants told us that we would be sharing the 1.5 hours for the class with the other zone so we would only be responsible for presenting half of the material, BUT on the tuesday night right before, they told us that we were actually going to split up so we needed to present all of the material. We were up pretty late getting it all put together, but it went pretty well I thought. We are supposed to think of ways to make the class interesting and interactive so that the missionaries actually pay attention and learn. It was my first time so I have some ideas of how we can do it better next month.

On Thursday morning we had a brief meeting with our stake president, accompanied by our mission President. We are trying to get a family history class set up in every ward so that the less active members we have gotten to return to activity can start to do their family history work and prepare to enter the temple which can help them to remain active.

one cool thing this week is that we found a less active lady that lives super far from our chapel and we got to know her a little bit. we learned that she had been offended and decied to not like the church because of what happened. We talked to her of Christ a little and told her that she wanted to her to go to church, and she did! She seemed to really enjoy being in church after about 2 years of being inactive.

I miss washington summers. that is cool that there are new missions in Washington. the new total is 5 right? Colin sent me the first email in a while and I was happy to hear from him, Thats cool that his first job is at taco time. He should try the tacos down here.

I also agree that Love is the factor that has more power to change others than anyhting else, and has been one of my main mission focuses. I still havemuch to improve on but I recently made some new goasl on bettering my love for others and it has helped me.

I love you all!

Elder Johns

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Streets are Rivers

It flooded that bad in less than 20 minutes. we got trapped on the block so we ended up having to walk through it.

¡Buen día!

This week was a little better, my stomach was still bothering me but I took some medicine and now it hasnt been hurting. Still alot of people forgot about the appointments and werent there but we also had pretty good success. We have two solid investigators; Claudio and Marí. Claudio is the friend of a recent convert and is only 19 years old but he likes going to church and the activities. He likes it more for the social part so we need to help him to convert himself spiritualy to the church.

Marí is only 9, but her less active mom has been coming to church regularily now so we have started to teach marí so that she can get baptized.

Yesterday we found 2 new investigators that were taught by some missionaries over a year ago. They didnt progress in that time because they had a financial crisis and had to work literally 24/7 to keep the family going. Now things arent so tight but they still work on sunday. They sell tacos and tamales so they are their own bosses so they could choose not to work sundays. We are going to see what we can do with them.

For the 4th of July I ate some hotdogs and a bag of doritos! I bought them at the store HEB on MOnday so that I could heat them up in the microwave and eat. they were tasty.

I did an exchange with an Elder in the zone and it was alright, I part I dont like about being a zone leader is having to worry so much about making sure the missionaries are doing what they are supposed to do and not waste time or break the mission rules.

sorry I kinda let time pass and now I have to get off the computer, ideas for my birthday package: Teeth whitening strips, and thats all that comes to mind. some candy would be nice as well, I really miss good chocolate.

I luv yáll,

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, July 1, 2013

Finally Far Enough Away from the Petroleum Plant


Sounds like you all had a pretty crazy week getting everything ready for the reception on friday. I am glad that it all went well. haha I laughed really hard when I saw the picture of a card board cut out with my face on it! I look quite classy...

This week was kinda tough because I was getting used to the humidity difference, almost every appointment has fallen through since ive gotten here, we had to get a zone plan prepared for July, and then I got some stomache problems on Friday and am just now feeling better.

Elder Fernandez is great, he has 6 more weeks than I do on the mission so we have almost the same amount of time. I met him almost a year ago when we were serving in Zone Valles and he seemed really quiet and not very fun but he has changed alot and now he talks alot and is alot more outgoing. We will be a good team to help Zona Chairel.

This area is simialer to my other areas in Tampico, but now I am finally far enough away from the Petroleum processing plant that I cant smell it anymore so that makes me really happy. all of my other areas in Tampico were relatively close to the processing plant so they occasionally  smell absolutely terrible (always in my first area becasue it was right next to it).

Umm I havent really been able to get to know the investigators becasue all the appointments fell through, but the people we have taught seem nice. I still really miss the people I was teaching in my last area.

We had a Consejo de Líderes (it used to be called the Concilio which sounded way cooler) meeting on Friday of all the Zone leaders with the assitents and President. We basically just share our plans for the zone for the next month and then there is a time for people to ask questions. Our plan is focusing on helping the missionaries in our zone to work in better unity with the members, helping them to become more converted by developing christlike attributes, and helping them to understand the importance of the committments that we give when we teach, especially the committment to get baptized.

It is very tiring being a zone leader becasue we have to worry alot about our area but then also we need to make plans and do phone calls late at night (to report to the assistants) becasue there isnt time during the day to do everything. It is SUUUPER nice sleeping with air conditioning though, I havent slept this well in a long time.

I am glad that you all enjoyed the wedding reception and I hope that you save me some pie.

con amor,

Elder Johns