Monday, July 30, 2012

Letter #62 7/30/12 Go Mexico!!

The seminary in Culiacan!

Hey family, Thanks for the pictures! Looks like you all had a great time, the cousins and everyone look great! Parker and Slater both look a lot older. I also got the pictures from mckell. The trip looks awesome! Now i´m the only one in the family who hasn´t been to Europe.. Oh well, Mexico es mejor! There are quite a few people here that are super in to the olympics. I hope the U.S. does well but that everything stays peaceful between Mexico and the U.S.
Well i had a pretty amazing week. We were in Culiacan ALL WEEK! We stayed in a house with 6 other missionaries and had a fabulous time. We had the same schedule every day. From 9 to 12  we listened to Pres. Cantu talk about los milagros, from 12 to 5 we did divisions in the area of the Elders we stayed with and worked in their area, and from 5 to 8 we listened more about how to find miracles! It was a pretty awesome week. It was super hot and rainy in Culiacan but it didn´t stop us from working. Every day we left the conference super excited to work and search for the escogidos. 

We covered a lot of information in the conference so i´m just going to tell you a few of the things that i like most. First of all we talked about the obvious and crucial need of teaching with the spirit. The scripture i like most is D&C 50: 13-18. It says that if we try to teach in any other way, we aren´t teaching in the way of the Lord. There´s a lot of other ways that missionaries can try to teach. A lot of missionaries know a ton about the gospel and know a ton of scriptures. It´s great to have a lot of knowledge, but there are a lot of people who relly on their own knowledge and persuasive words than listening and teaching by the spirit. 

We also talked about how we are all ¨"chosen ones" and that we´ve been taught and prepared to do the work of the Lord since the preexistence. Every one of us has a potencial that we can fulfill and multiple spirtual gifts but in order to recieve everything we need to be perfectly obedient. If we don´t obey, we have no promise. We talked a lot about how every one of us has a lot of things that we could change to be better missionaries or better people in general, but we´re never going to make the changes if we don´t act. We´re here in the mission and in life to act, not be acted upon. That goes for us as missionaries, for the members, and for our investigadors. If we´re going to act, first of all we need to have the desire. We talked about how our investigadors need to have the desire if they´re going to change and how we can give them the desire by using inspired questions.

President Cantu is amazing. I know that he is the only mission president that can give me the guidance that i need to meet my potential as a missionary and that he´s called of God. Pres. Cantu has a different way of communicating himself. He talkes really direct, and word he says is full of power and it makes you feel the spirit. Well i hope you all have a wonderful week!! I´ll be praying for you all. Love Elder Mecham

Monday, July 23, 2012

Letter #61 7/23/12 Happy Birthday Mom!

The painting crew!

Nothing like a good hard days work!!

Now this family can have a cement floor!

Three cute baptism girls!

A nice drive along the beach!!

A little beach-side reading!!

Hey everyone! I hope all is well at home. We had another good week here in Mazatlan, really busy, stressful, and physically tiring, but it was great! The best part of the week was definately Saturday. We had a baptism! The 2 niñas got baptised. It was incredibly stressfull all week trying to work it all out and never really knowing for sure if they were going to get baptised or not. I have a really long history of stressful baptism days so im used to it. In the end it all turned out perfect and the baptismal service was great. It was probably the best organized baptismal service ive ever been to. The president of the primary went early and decorated the whole room with paintings of the temple and ribbons and things like that. It looked great! 3 niñas got baptised in total. The 2 investigadores and an 8 year old girl from the ward. The 3 are now best friends.

We had the wonderful oportunity of doing service 2 times this week!! The first time was Tuesday. We painted! It was very enjoyable and a nice break from our regular work, not that i dont love the regular work. On Thursday we did more service.. not quite so enjoyable. We had the awesome task of moving a giant pile of rock hard clay into a house so that they can put in a concrete floor. The floor beforehand was pure dirt and it wasnt very solid. It was a long day.. I spent the majority of the time loosening the clay with a pick, moving it inside the house, and packing it down with a stick connected to a giant piece of concrete. Im going to send a pic, make sure to notice how soacking wet my shirt is. Id say it was one of the hardest service projects ive ever done in my life, but it was incredibly rewarding because now the family is going to be able something besides dirt as their floor. Thusday night when we returned to the house we were so exausted we just crashed on our beds and fell asleep at 9. Both service projects we were lucky to have the help of our ward missionary leader, Omar, Hes the taller one in the fotos. Hes great. Hes 18 and just got his mission call to Argentina. He helps us a ton and joins us with our lessons almost every day. 

Unfortunately, this week we had very few lessons because of the service and baptisms. We actually don{t have very many lessons here in Mazatlan. This week i think we had a total of about 5 lessons where we actually sat down with the investigadors and had a serious lesson. The rest are quick little lessons on the doorsteps of the people who dont have time or dont accept anything more. This means that we spend a lot of time walking which i really dont mind. We had a nice run in with an American this week. She spoke no  spanish and said that she was guided to Mazatlan to do the Lords work. This week were going to try and teach her, only problem is that she lives in a hotel.. 

Well i{m glad to hear that you got Grandma all moved in and that my room is still safe. Its going to be great having her so close to the house. That is the perfect place for her. This week we have a week long training meeting in Culiacan. We leave at 3 today and return saturday. It should be great, allthough i{m not really looking forward to the heat.. I hope you all have a wonderful week!!! Elder Mecham

Monday, July 16, 2012

Letter #60 7/16/12 Hey!!

Buenas tardes familia,

Wow the pictures are all awesome! Thanks for sending those. Looks like you guys all had a blast. I can´t wait for next year!! Wow, Steve Nash playing for the Lakers.. I´m a little upset about that. I hope he comes to his senses before the season starts and signs with the Jazz! I don´t really hear much about the NBA here, actually i don´t hear anything.. They´re a little more in to soccer here.

Unfortunately we didn´t have a baptism last week, but the good news is that this weekend we have 2 scheduled! We have been teaching 2 niñas, L and L. They are sisters and there parents are less active members. They have 11 and 12 años and are super excited! I´ve had a little stress about the whole situacion because we don´t want them to get baptised and afterwards go inactive. That commonly happens when children in inactive families get baptised. It´s been a tough decision to make but we talked with the President of the primary and she commited to go and pick up the niñas every week and bring them to church so now it´s all set. We have also found a few new investigadors that look promising, we´re going to keep working hard and hope for a month full of baptisms!

Not much new happened this week. I went to the Dentist! We have an investigador that is a dentist and she gave us free checkups and cleanings. I had a cavity and she fixed it right there on the spot. I was glad that i got it all taken care of. Elder Lara has 9 cavities!! We´re going to go right now to get them all fixed. Elder Lara is awesome. I can´t remember if i´ve told you a lot about him but he is 20 like me and we get along great. Before the mission he was training to run track in the olympics but he gave it up to serve his mission. He has a girlfriend but isn´t too distracted and is the oldest in his family.

It feels great to be right in the middle of my mission. I feel like i´ve reached the point where i´m almost 100 percent focused in the mission. Almost all of my thoughts of the past are of past experiences i´ve had in the mission and when i think about the future i think about my future in the mission. I hope i can keep this going for the rest of my mission. I´d say the more focused you are in where you´re at, the happier you´ll be. And i´ve definately found that true as a missionary.

A downside of this area is that we wash by hand.. however after the first week i got sick of it and took all my shirts to a laundrymat and the washed and ironed everything! It´s not that i´m lazy, it´s just that i´d rather do other things like reading than washing my clothes every night. Also, i bout some new pants today, they should last the rest of the mission. Well i love you all a ton. Hope you take care and have a wonderful week.

con mucho amor,
Elder Mecham

Friday, July 13, 2012

Letter #59 7/9/12 Lake Powell!

The map!  Quite a work of art!

Hey family! First of all, i won't lie, i'm a little jealous that everyone is at lake powell right now as i'm writing this letter. I hope that you're all having a great time and that you send me loads of awesome pictures! I want to hear all about it. To tell you the truth i had completely forgotten that you guys were there until right now, we've been extremely busy every day. Elder Lara doesn't have too much time here in this area, only  2 more weeks than me, so we are learning the area together. We've spent a ton of time organizing the area book and making a map of our area. I think Mckell would be really impressed with the map that we are making. It's huge, about 2 meters in lenth and 2 meters tall. We have color coordinated stickers for every active member, less active member, recent convert, investigadors, old investigadors, and future investigadors. It is awesome! Our planning sessions have been incredibly time efficient and it's also helped us to be able to work more efficiently during the day. We're going to be finishing the map this week and i'll be sure to send you a picture.

Also, we had a baptism! Her name is G, she is about 75 years old and is the mother of a member. She is awesome! Her daughter got baptised about 10 years ago and she literally had to go behind her mom's back in order to do it. She was super catholic and didn't want anything to do with the church. Over the past 10 years the missionaries have been visiting her on and off and little by little her seed sprouted and grew until she had a firm testimony and decided to get baptised! We were actually a little surprised, we passed by Tuesday and asked what she thought about baptism and she told us the same old thing she's said to every missionary that's ever passed by, " I need more time". We challenged her to pray and ask God if she should get baptised that Saturday and when we passed by on Thursday she said she had recieved her answer. She didn't hesitate at all and told us she was ready. Her baptismal service was probably the most spiritual service i've ever gone to, her daughter gave her testimony after her baptism and after that G gave hers and they we both holding back tears the entire time. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to participate a small portion in witnessing her conversion to the gospel and baptism. 

Elder Lara is another Mexican. We get along great, he really likes to joke around but at the same time knows how to work hard. He has about 7 months in the mission. I absolutely LOVE my area. The members are awesome, we have a big clean house, and it's really pretty here. I'd say Mazatlan is a better vacation spot than Cabo. Everything is cheaper and it's a lot cleaner. We also have an awesom zone here, everyone is really united and friendly. This week Elder Lara and I are planning on running to the top of a giant hill by our house where there's a lighthouse, I'll be sure to send you pics if we do it. My area here is a lot different than the other areas that i've had. There's a lot more city and a lot less farm. Luckily it's right on the beach so i don't feel too trapped. 

I hope you guys enjoy lake powell and make it home safely. I love every one on you and pray for you daily. Have an excelent week. 

Love, Elder Mecham

Monday, July 2, 2012

Letter #58 7/2/12 Mazatlan!

Looks Happy!!

Lovin the food but still losing weight!

Landon and Elder Romero!

Dear family,

Today i'm very surprised to be writing you from Mazatlan. I just arrived and don't know much about the area, but my companions name is Elder Lara. Don't know much about him but he seems pretty cool and somebody that i could be good friends with. I won't lie, it was hard saying goodbye to Angostura. I wasn't really expecting to leave, but i know that we are the changes are inspired and i'm excited to be here. From what i can see i'm really going to enjoy Mazatlan. It's a huge city with a lot of ranchitos and other neighborhoods that surround it, but it seems that our area is pretty close to being the center of the city. I know that the tourism is pretty famous here so it'll be interesting to see if there are as many gringos here as in los cabos. 

This past week in Angostura we weren't really able to do to much work because of Elder Romero's tooth, but when we worked we worked super hard and were able to make up for lost time. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we stayed inside during the hottest hours of the day and i was able do a lot of reading in the New Testament as well as in Jesus the Christ. I've continued to LOVE reading and studying the life of Jesus Christ. The stories found in the New Testament have been a huge help to me in all my mission. On a less spiritual note, i also learned how to succesfully complete a rubix cube!! All thanks to Elder Romero. 

Thursday we went to Dentist in Culiacan for Elder Romero. Turns out you can't really trust the dentists in the small farm towns.. Friday and Saturday we worked super hard making up for all the time we had lost. We founds a few new investigadors and set a few baptism dates but unfortunately none of them came to church sunday. However, i still feel that we were blessed Sunday with for our hard work. There's a kid in the branch named V, he's 11 years old and still hasn't gotten baptised. His parents are both active and his grandpa is the Branch President. He's a little rebelios and understood that baptism is a big commitment. Turns our a couple weeks ago he got really sick and ended up needing an operation. We gave him a blessing a couple days beforehand and the when the time came around for his operation he was completely healed. He obviosly remembered the blessing we gave him and recognized his recovery as a blessing from God. Yesterday he asked us if he could get baptised this Saturday!! I won't be there but I'm incredibly happy for him and i know the priesthood is real and powerful and through it we can see miricles.

It sounds like here we walk alot. It's been about 6 months since i was in an area that walked more than sat in cars so it'll be interesting to see if i hold up. After having so much time in   "lazy" areas i'm surprised that i've contuned losing weight. It shows that i diet of pure frijoles and tortillas works for something, even though i'm 100 sure i've lost pure muscle. My zone here is made up of almost pure gringos. It'll be a big change from my last one. Also, i got a package from Grandma!! Thanks Grandma, i love you and you're amazing. I also got the family history packet you sent me, i've already read quite a bit. I love the Pioneers!! Thanks mother. I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the heat, 

Love Elder Mecham