Monday, April 8, 2013

Letter #96 3/25/13 Hey Family!

Hey everyone!

This week was very successful like always. We taught a TON. We had 27 lessons in total which is more than regular. I´ve had areas where we rarely have more than 15. I´m LOVING teaching. It´s awesome to arrive with a person that we don´t know, and watch as they little by little feel the spirit and start to open up to us. When we first arrive with a person, we don´t start teaching right away. We start out by asking inspired questions to be able to know what to teach. A lot of times the person has little confidence in the first few minutes and doesn´t talk too much. We have to relly on the spirit to know what to say, and what questions to ask so that the person feels that we´re truly representatives of Jesus Christ and feels comfortable sharing their beliefs and experiences. 

We had a cool experience on Friday night. IT was 8:30 and we had already gone with the 4 plans that we had put for that hour and nobody was home. I remembered a referal that we had recieved a long time ago but never were able to find home. We went and surprisingly she was there. We talked a little outside of her house, and after about 5 minutes she invited us inside. We started getting to know her, shared scriptures, and after 5 more minutes she was in tears telling about all the problems she´s been having in her family. Her dad just died and she is having major problems with her husband. She has 2 little boys and is worried about them. We talked about the plan of salvation and about the importance of obedience, she said she wanted to go to Church on Sunday seems to be an esdogida. I know that we were an answer to her prayers and that it wasn´t by chance that we arrived to her house. My testimony is also growing more and more every day that when we work diligently, God answers our prayers. An important part about being diligent, is being constant. Working even when we don´t want to, and not stopping until we´ve given EVERYTHING we have. My goal is to keep working diligently for the remainder of my mission. To tell the truth, it´s harder than it was in the beginning, but it´s not impossible! There´s a quote that goes something like this "If you don´t have a love for the people, get down on your knees and don´t get up until you´ve obtained it". Several times of my mission i´ve applied this when i feel like i´m weak in a christ like attribute and i know that it works. 

Sadly, we won´t be baptising this week. The investigadors that had baptismal dates didn´t pay their tithing yesterday so they´ll probably be getting baptised next week, but there are changes!! Chances are that i´m going but who knows. This Branch is awesome. They´re already planning me a "family home evening" on sunday for my birthday! I´ll let you know how it goes. Have a great week!!!   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Letter #95 3/18/13! Gone Fishin'

A fisher of men!

A great p-day!!

Dear family, we had a great week this week. It´s starting to get hot!! Luckily we have air condicioning in our house. We are turning it on every night, it´s incredibly loud, but it works! I´m guessing that it´s still not feeling to hot in Utah.. And no, I´m not wearing green today.. You´ll have to pinch me when i get back, if you remember. They don´t celebrate Saint Patricks Day today.
We had another week of success!! We had 6 investigadors in church yesterday. A and her kids are Awesome! Yesterday they arrived early, without the help of any member, and properly dressed for church! Hna A sang in the choir and is going with the relief society to an activity on saturday. They´re going to be dancing and she´s going to participate. They´re basically already members, but Hna A still needs to get divorced before she can get baptised. It´s looking like it could be a long and costly process. Chances are i won´t be here to see her baptism.. But i´m glad to have found her be the first missionaries to teach her. We´re going to see if her kids can get baptised this month. We usually try not to baptise kids if there parents aren´t active members, but this is a special situacion. A is active, but not a member. Her daughter is 15 and her son 9. We´re also teaching their neighbor,  L. He´s 13 and yesterday he arrived to church 30 minutes early, and all alone. He lives almost 30 minutes away from the church. He is reading the book of mormon and wants to get baptised. He´s a stud, definately a future missionary. He could also be baptised this month, but we´re not sure if it´s the best thing to do.

 We want to make sure that he´s going to stay active. The investigadors have to have more than a testimony. A testimony is not that hard to obtain. Satan knows that our church is true, but that doesn´t mean he´s going to follow it. The investigadors need to be converted!!! If they have a true conversion it means that they know it´s true, and they´re willing to follow the will of God, no matter what it means. As members we also need to make sure that we´re "converted" to the gospel, and not just have a testimony. 

This last week we had a conference with President Cantú. It was pretty intense. We talked a lot about giving ALL of what we have. I want to make sure that i´m really giving EVERYTHING i have for the rest of my mission and like dad always says "not leave anything on the court". If i could give everything to win a basketball game, i can give  everything for the Lord. 

Today we did something i hadn´t done in a while. We went fishing!! Only here you don´t fish with a fishing pole, you fish with an empty coke bottel with a fishing line tied around. It´s works better than you´d think. Some other people that were there were using the same thing and caught more than 20 fish. I think we´re better off fishing for men(investigadors).. A few investigadors took us and the other missionaries in our district. We didn´t catch anything, but we had a good time.  L went. He already wants to be a missionary! 

I hope you all have a great week!!! Love Elder Mecham

Monday, March 11, 2013

Letter #94 3/11/13 No voice!!

Dear familia

We had a great week.We´re teaching a lot of awesome people here. First of all, Hna A and her kids are still progressing super fast! They would be getting baptised this Saturday, but there´s a road block like always.. Hna A has to get divorced and then married before she can get baptised. But we´re not losing hope, she said that she´s willing to do it, but it could be a long process. We´re still hoping that her and her kids can get baptised this month! We´re also teaching her neighbor, a referal she gave us, and her sons friend. We had 5 investigadores in church yesterday! C isn´t quite as excited as beforehand, but he still has his baptism date for the end of this month. The problem is that there really aren´t other kids his age in church. He´s 14 and all we have are 2 young men, both less active and not very social. We need to do some serious prayer to find out what we can do to excite him. 

I won´t lie, i´m a little scared that there going to take me out of this area. We still have a long time to go until changes, but there are 8 missionaries from the Utah that are waiting for there visas that could arrive any time. I´m praying that i stay here for the rest of this change! It´s an awesome branch and i really think that at the end of this month we´re going to have several baptisms. 

This week i had a little reminder of my first couple months here in Mexico. I completely lost my voice and couldn´t preach! A missionary without his voice is like a car without a driver.. Worthless!! I was a little frustrated, it´s incredibly hard call people to repentance if you can´t talk! The past year and a half i basically have been talking ALL day EVERY day. Whether i´m talking with my companion or people we meet in the street, we´re always talking. I lost my voice Friday, and it was our turn to give talks on Sunday. On Friday i went to a clinic to see what they could do for me. It ended up being a great idea. They gave me shots! Only here in the clinics they don´t actually inject you, they just give you the medication and the seringe and send you off. My companion doesn´t know how to give a shot so we went with a sister who kindly helped me out. I took one shot every day and by Sunday i was ready to speak with a voice of a trumpet! And i needed it, the microphones were broken in the chapel and i had to give my talk like in the olden days. 

Something i´ve loved about Elder Lopez is his dedication to the scriptures. Every morning, before the regular study time, and every night after planning, he´s reading the scriptures. I´ve been trying to follow his example and it´s been awesome! I finished Jesus the Christ and am close to finishing Doctrine and Covenents again. I´m studying more than i ever have in the mission, i need to take advantage of every second i have! I know that i´ll never have another opportunity to study the scriptures like this again in my life. 

This week we´re planning on having a lot of success and giving it all. I hope you all have a great week!! Love Elder Mecham

Monday, March 4, 2013

Letter #93 3/4/13 A sucessful week!!

Dear family

This week was a week of success. We worked hard and were able to bring 4 new investigadors to church! That´s the most we´ve ever had here, and it´s pretty good considering that there were only 40 people in church in total. We are teaching a family! It´s a mom and her 3 kids, it would be much better if we were teaching the dad as well, but he´s not as excited as the rest. The mom´s name is Alma(soul in english). They loved church. I´m pretty sure that i told the story about how we found them in my last letter. They lived in the house of a reference from a street contact. The whole ward was talking helping them a ton, saying things like "we´re so excited for when you get baptised". We´ve haven´t talked with the mom since church but i´m pretty sure she either got really excited and is going to want to get baptised as soon as posible, or is scared to death. We´ve been praying that it´s the first option. 

We´ve also been teaching C a lot, he´s progressing but wasn´t able to go to church yesterday. We´ve been worried because there are zero kids his age in church, but we´ve deciced that our best option is going to be teach and baptise all his friends and their families! I´ll let you know how it goes. His friends actually love listening to us, but we don´t want to baptised anyone that´s just going to inactivate afterwards and more than often when teenagers get baptised and their parents don´t support their decision, they inactive quickly afterwards. 

We´ve been trying to be a little more creative with our teaching methods. Not a single lesson is the same because we teach people not lessons, but i won´t lie, after 20 months of teaching the restoration every day, there are a lot that are very similar. We´re trying to change that. I have a small white board that i bought a while ago and we´ve been using it in the lessons. During our lessons we´re constantly drawing, and making lists to help people better understand the basic principals of the gospel. We´ve had a lot of fun coming up with new ideas to teach. We also made visual aides to teach the church of Jesus Christ with profits and apostles. I never actually thought i could be creative, but my calling is bringing out my true talents! I´m hoping it sticks with me when I get home.

I´m glad to hear that i got accepted to BYU. It´ll be good to have the option when i get home. Also, i recieved the package!! Thanks mom!! Today we went to Culiacan with the district to go tie hunting. We had a good time. I bought an ab wheel that i´m pretty excited for. Got to go, but i love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letter #92 2/25/13 Baptism!!

Querido familia,
This week went great. Hermana S got baptised!! She is awesome and super excited to perserverar hasta el fin (endure to the end). Her baptism service was great. We had a combined service with the other missionaries in our district. There were 2 baptisms. I have an awesome district here. We`re all incredibly old as far as the mission goes. We all have more than a year and a half! We also all get along great. Today we played soccer in the morning with a few of the members here in the ward. We`ve made it a habit to play soccer every p day and lots of times we´re even able to bring investigadors. It´s good for them to see that we´re not robots. 

The branch here is having a tough time. Yesterday in church there were only 42 people. We´ve been trying to get the branch to have the ward council and yesterday we FINALLY were able to convince them to do it. We ended up having a big turn out; the branch president, his councilor, the primary president, and the 2 of us. It was actually a good meeting. We´re planning a lot of good activities here to get the branch excited and to hopefully find new investigadors. We´re going to try something that i´ve never done before. Instead of teaching English classes, we´re going to be teaching reading classes. There´s a huge number of illiterate people here. We´re going to tell the members to invite there friends and neighbors who aren´t members to come and learn to read for free!! I like the idea. I think we´ve have more success than i´ve had in the past with english classes, and we´ll be helping the people with something that is neccesary in life and not just helpful, like english. 

We were able to find some really potential investigadors this past week. We found a family of 5!! We´ve only taught them twice, but they´re super excited! I know we were guided by the spirit to find them. We had been looking for a reference, but knocked on the wrong house, it was a man who wasn´t too excited but we asked him if he knew anyone we could teach. He told us that we could go with a man named sergio on the next street. We went with "sergio" but it turned out that he didn´t live there. The lady who answered the door ended up being someone who is looking the the true church, has 3 kids, and all accepted baptism dates!! We don´t always find people in the way we hope, but the Lord always guides us to the people he´s preparing if we listen to the spirit. I love being a missionary!! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Love Elder Mecham

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Letter #91 2/18/13 Letting go of investigators...

Hey everyone,
This week went pretty well. First of all, i´m still here in Costa Rica, there were hardly any changes. Elder Lopez and i are still together. It turns out that the missionaries that were going to arrive from out of country are waiting for their visas so chances are that as soon as they arrive we´ll be having special changes and it will probably affect a lot of missionaries since a lot are going to arrive. 

This week was a little bit different. I hardly worked with Elder Lopez. He went to Culiacan for a training seminary from wednesday till saturday. I stayed here in Costa Rica and worked with Elder Clark. He is fresh in the mission, has about 2 weeks, so i got to be daddy for 4 days!! It was pretty fun, kind of maid me want to have a kid, but i´m feeling a little old.. Normally they put the missionaries with less than 1 year to train so that they learn faster. 

We had a great week as far as the work goes. We have slowly been leaving several investigadores that we had. It´s always a little tough to make the decision to leave investigadors. There´s several reasons; we develop relationships with them, we get to know them really well, and the truth is that nobody likes to look for new investigadors. It means walking in the sun, talking with the whole world and being rejected several times every hour, and harder work. It´s much more enjoyable to be teaching. I LOVE teaching. But we knew that our investigadors were´nt going to progress. When you know that, and you keep teaching them, you´re waisting the Lord´s time. We took the decision to leave several people, and as a result we have found a TON of new people. We had a couple days of searching almost all day long, but we know have several new investigadors, aswell as a super long list of references and contacts that we need to look for. 

One of the people we found is names C. He´s a teenager and is awesome. He went to church on Sunday!! He´s super excited.  S went to church as well and payed her tithing!! She has as date to get baptised this Saturday. We´re hoping that everything turns out great. Pray for us!! 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Love Elder Mecham

Monday, February 11, 2013

Letter #90 2/11/13 New Companion!!

Good week, we had special changes!! Elder Knowles is no longer my companion. He went to los mochis, i´m a little jealous cause i LOVE los mochis, but the Lord has work for me here. I´m here with Elder Lopez. He´s from Mexico City and already has a while in the mission. I don´t know how long we´re going to be together for, but there´s a good chance that our time together will be really short since we´ll be having changes again on Sunday. Something interesting about Elder Lopez is that his parents live in Provo! He has 1 sister and she just entered the MTC. She´s 20 and will be serving in i San Diego, California. His family moved to Provo about a month after he left on the mission. I told him that my sisters live in Provo and that i was going to tell them to visit his family.
Elder Knowles left to on Wednesday. I spent almos the whole day Wednesday in the bus station waiting for Elder Lopez so we weren´t able to get to work until Thursday, but we had a good week. I´d say the highlight of the week was definately church. It was branch conference so Presidente Cantú came! It was incredible. He spoke for about 20 minutes in sacrament meeting, afterwards he taught sunday school, and after about 5 mintues of listening to the District president teach the combined preisthood/relief society lesson President Cantú felt that he needed to take over and ended up teaching the whole hour. He is an awesome teacher. I learned a TON and the whole branch is super excited to work. He talked about a lot of basic principals but did it in a way super powerful. He talked about faith. Faith is to know the will of god and afterwards make it happen. If it´s god´s will that we move a mountain, we can do it. If we have a lot of faith that something´s going to happen, but it´s not God´s will, it´ll never happen. Before asking for the blessing, we need to ask if it is really what God wants, and he´ll never reveal his will to us if we´re not living the gospel. Everything starts with obedience, it doesn´t matter how much faith we have if we don´t first obey. 

One of the small miracles we witnessed this week was a member that we gave a blessing to. He is dying from cancer and has months that he´s been in bed and hasn´t been able to go to church. The doctors don´t expect him to live much longer. We went to give him a blessing, more than anything so that he can be in peace for the rest of the time he´s here, and that he can have the strength to go to church at least one time. Yesterday he was one of the first people there and stayed for the whole 3 hours. He also arrived on foot, walking almost 20 minutes. The priesthood is the power of God!! 

I hope you all have an awesome week!! Love Elder Mecham