Monday, October 29, 2012

Letter #75 10/29/12 Happy Halloween!

Querido familia,

We had another good week here in mazatlan. We worked a lot and were able to see lots of blessings. I´m a little distracted right now because right outside the window from where i´m writing there´s a SUV full of about 10 soldiers with M-16 machine guns. But dont worry, it´s  normal to see that here. This past week we worked a lot with less active members and recent converts. Friday we recieved the news about a new rule banning the knocking of doors. I´m pretty sure it´s a rule for all of mexico but not positive. There´s several reasons for the rule. First of all, it´s incredibly inefficient and we hardly ever have success while contacting. It´s about 100 times more effecient to go with 1 reference from a member than knock doors for 1 hour. Another reason for the rule is that knocking the doors of unknown people here can be a little dangerous. We´re really happy for the change and are hoping to have more success and more baptisms! We have gone with several members to ask for references and are planning on giving a few missionary prep classes to the whole ward so that they can share the gospel a little better and with less fear. 

I´m incredibly greatful for all of you guys and all your support. Last week i realized just how blessed i am to have such a wonderful supportive family. Elder Roman basically has no support from home. His dad writes him about once every 2 months and when his mom writes him, she´s begging him to come home. The last letter his mom wrote him she told him that his mission is ruining him. In response to her letter he told her to repent! Elder Roman is awesome. He has never once complained and never lets anything his family tells him get to him. 

Saturday we had a ward missionary activity. We had a good turnout of members and were able to bring 2 investigadors. We went to the city park, which happens to be in our area, and ate delicious food and everyone played football. The members are all great here. They´re lacking a little excitement as far as the missionary work goes, but they all love us and i´ll miss them when i leave. 

It´s been awesome to see Hna Y progress. This last sunday she was sustained as relief society secretary!! She is responsable of filling our lunch calender every month. She is also understanding the principals of the gospel a lot better. It´s been awesome to see the change in her since she got baptised. It´s obvious that she now has the gift of the holy ghost, she understands and remembers everthing a lot easier. This week D, her son, is going to get baptised! 

You asked if they celebrate halloween here. I´m not too sure how it is here in Sinaloa but last year in San Lucas there were several kids trick or treating. This year i already have my costume ready! An hermano gave me a sweet sombrero. It´s basically identical to the indiana Jones´ hat. I sent a picture of me wearing it while washing my clothes earlier today. I also sent a picture of the ward activity. I hope you all enjoy halloween and that you behave. Love you all!! 

Elder Mecham

Monday, October 22, 2012

Letter #74 10/22/12 Mazatlan!!

Wow, Matt´s home! That´s great to hear. Thanks for the pictures. Looks like you all had a great time! Last tuesday i talked to an Brother Corona, He´s an Elder that returned from Villahermos on Monday and lives in our stake. He said he knew Matt and reafirmed that he got stuck in Mexico, only he told me that he had heard that it was going to take a couple weeks to work out his papers and everything. Guess he was wrong.. Tell Matt hi for me and tell him that he nunca dejará siendo un misionero, y a seguir echando las ganas! Y que encuentre su medianaranja rapidamente.

We had a great week. We started out super excited after not having too much success the week before and having incredibly low numbers. We set new goals and worked super hard to achieve them, and for the first time in my mission, we did it! We completed with every goal we set, besides baptisms and confirmations. We worked a ton with with the members this week also visited a lot of less active members. Our ward is starting to get a little more excited with the missionary work. We´ve recieved a few references and are doing divisions every week. Hna Y is still doing great. This week they called her as the relief society secretary!! We´re hoping that her calling is going to keep her active and involved in the church. We´re also teaching her son, D, and should get baptised next week.

I had told you guys earlier about an investigador named S that works in our area. We passed the reference to the missionaries that correspond to him and they are now teaching him in his house. He should be getting baptised next week as well. We still see him on a regular basis, he even told us that he wants Elder Roman to baptise him so it looks like we´ll be attending his baptism! I also had another experience that strengthens my testimony that God loves us and listens to our prayers. The day after we passed the reference to the other missionaries, another pair of missionaries called us from Culiacan to pass us a reference. They told us that they´ve been teaching a man that works in Culiacan during the week, but lives in our area. They said they´ve already taught him all the lessons and has a baptism date for the first week of November. We visited him Saturday and is super excited.

Elder Roman and I are still doing great together. He got a little sick last week, turns out he can´t eat anything that has chilli anymore in his whole mission. He´s going to have some major problems since they litterally toss chilli in EVERYTHING here. Mom, you should be greatful that he´s my companion. He takes really good care of his skin, making me, as well, take super good care of my skin. He also has an unbrella and if we´re not walking in the shadow, he uses it. Which is basically all day long. He also reminds me to put on sun screen. There´s a lot of people here with really bad skin problems since the majority of people work outside all day long. It´s a good reminder.

I re-listened to Uchdorfs talk about living a life with no regrets several times this week and i loved it more every time. He talks about how we need to enjoy where we´re at and not think about the finish line before we get there. We´re going to keep working hard this week and find more people to bring unto Christ!! Love Elder Mecham

Monday, October 15, 2012

Letter #73 10/15/12 Baptism!

Great week. First of all, i'm a little surprised about Matt. When i read that he's not coming home today, i first thought about President Thomas S. Monson's talk he gave on Sunday. I thought that they main point of the talk was that there are no coinsidenses. Everything happens for a reason and i'm sure that there is a reason (unknown for the time being) that he was not supposed to come home today. But i liked that idea of going to Chuck a rama afterwards. You'll have to send me pictures!
Right now i'm in another area with a Elder Goates, an Elder in my zone. Our companions are currently in Culiacan working out some visa issues. They left yesterday, so last night i worked here with Elder Goates. It's been nice to hang out a little with anoher Gringo. This morning we played soccer and afterwards we made carne asada with a few mexican teenagers.
Hna Y got baptised! Her baptism was awesome. I felt the spirit and i could tell that she did as well. We were a little worried that she wasn't going to get baptised this week because she learns a little slow and honestly doesn't understand a lot of things even now, but after a lot of prayer we decided that she was ready! Knowledge really isn't a requirement to get baptised. More than anything the person needs to have the desire, be willing to obey the commandments, and pray to know that it's true. The members are going to be helping her now so that she keeps going to church and has her sights set on the temple! Y also has a 10 year old son who we're going to start teaching. He went to the baptism and to church on sunday and loved it. We told him that in 2 weeks he'll be able to get baptised and he got really excited. We found hna Y one day when we were walking to lunch. She talked to me in english and i asked her if we could visit her in her house. She honestly didn't have much of a desire in the beggining but little by little we were able to see her change. It's awesome to see the spirit work with the people as they learn more about our savior and start keeping the commandments.
Elder Roman and i are still doing great together. He is definately different than the rest of my companions i've had. You would never guess that he is so new to church. He knows a ton about the scriptures and LOVES teaching. He shares his conversion story with just about everyone we come in contact and it's been a big help. It's nice having a companion that's a convert, i'd actually love it if every companion i had was a convert. He's trying to take advantage of our time together to learn english. I always pray in english so that he can listen. Strangely, i feel more comfortable praying in spanish. I often start my prayers in english and finish in spanish without even realizing as i change languages.
S, the contact that works as a security guard, is awesome. He doesn't live in our area, but he loved the book of mormon so much that he's been sharing it with everone he knows! He gave a book to his friend, A, who's now been reading and seems really excited. He's trying to quit smoking and we're helping him by teaching him the gospel!
Well i hope that you all have a wonderful week and that Matt comes home at some point before next monday. Love you all!! Elder Mecham

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letter #72 10/8/12!! General Conference!!

No idea where this is!  Maybe the backyard?

Landon on the ferry to an island for a baptism interview.  Gorgeous!!

Hey there everyone, great week. First of all, i got 2 packages! ¡Gracias a mama y abuelita! Everything you sent was great, i give props to whoever picked out the grey paisley tie. I´m going to have a tough time keeping that from my companions.

Best news of the week is, i can hardly believe it, but we went to all 5 sessions of conference!!!! And we brought investigadors to every session! We had a bit of an advantage since the stake center is in our area, making it very easy for investigadors to go. I left this conference feeling spiritually uplifted and with a stronger testimony that Thomas S. Monson is a profet. Elder Roman and i both felt the spirit super strong after the afternoon session Yesterday. Elder Roman was balling, i was able to contain my emotions a little better, but the experience was super powerful. I also have a new love the the tabernacle choir. Since i started the mission i´ve enjoyed them more and more. The investigadors who went all had great experiences as well. We had a few people who went both Saturday and Sunday, Hna G being one of them. She has a baptism date for this saturday!! We´re teaming her up with our other investigador of around the same age, Hermana S. They made friends yesterday at conference and today we´re going to have a family night with both of them.

We had super awesome experience on Friday while we were walking to lunce. We were basically running because we were late when we heard a man shout at us. He was working in a hotel when he watched pass by and wanted something to read. We stopped and talked to him and gave him a book of mormon and left our number on the back. After 10 minutes he sent us a message saying that he wanted us to come back and teach him how to pray. We passed be the next day and he had already read 12 chapters of the Book of Mormon! He told us that he knows it´s true and that it was no coincidence that he felt prompted to shout at us, he had never talked with missionaries before and didn´t have a clue what we do. He went to the preisthood session on Saturday and said he felt that Thomas S. Monson was a profet called by God, Yesterday we passed by and he asked us if he could have 3 more Books of Mormon; 1 for his friend at work, 1 for the owners of the house he rents, and 1 for his wife. He is insanely escogido!! Only sad thing is that he doesn´t live in our area... We works all day as a security guard in a hotel in our area, but we´re going to pass the reference to the missionaries of the ward he belongs to. We are just happy to have been the missionaries that made first contact with him. These past couple weeks we´ve found a TON of people who i feel have been prepared to recieve the gospel, but sadly don´t live in our area. The important thing is that we´re working our hardest, and helping people come unto Christ. It doesn´t matter if we are just the ones that are planting the seed, it´s the same work.

Mom, to awnswer a couple of questions, Elder Roman is from Santiago. I had forgotten that Danny served in the Dominican Republic! Also, about the shoes, to tell the truth boots aren´t neccessary in sinaloa. At least they weren´t this year. It sounds like in past years it has rained a little more. I´m using them every other day, but just because my other shoes are falling apart little by little and i want all 3 pairs to last me until the end of my mission. I think it´s a good idea to buy a pair of shoes just to use on Sundays and Baptisms so that you always have a pair that looks nice, and another 2 pairs for every other day.

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Letter #71 10/1/12 Elder Roman is Awesome!!

Dear family, How is everyone? Unfortunately today we have very little time to write. We have a district meeting right now and its very far away. This week was pretty decent. Elder Roman and i had several spiritual experiences together and little by little were finding more investigadors. Yesterday una Hermana that we{ve been teaching forever finally went to church! She speaks english and always wants to speak english in the lessons. We{ve been worried that that she was more interested in practicing her english than learning the gospel but we{re seen a lot of progress in her in this last little bit. I hope she keeps it up so she can get baptised! Hermana S is having problems because she is currently living with her x husband and rules are that if they live under the same roof, and arent married, she cant get baptised. She has continued to be super active in everything and loves all the lessons. She is also on the schedule to feed us every week. This week we{re going to be looking for new investigadors. This past week i resulted to a finding method that i hadn{t used in months, contacting. It had been forever!! But i{ve now broken the streak. We had gone almost every inactive member in the ward, and found every old investigador from the area book, and we were left with no other opcion. We had little success for our area, but were able to find and teach some people who live in other cities that i think could really progress. It doesnt matter who plants the sead and who reaps it. The blessings are the same!
This past week we also had the oportunity to go to the island again! I enjoyed the boat ride and took a couple fotos but i think i{ll be sending them next week because the computer i{m using is ancient! Elder Roman and i are having a great time together. He is awesome. He has a little over a month her in Mexico and is still adjusting to everything. I would have thought the the Dominican Republic and Mexico would be almost identical in cultures sense their so close, but there are actually a lot of differences. They don{t eat tortillas in the Dominican Republic!! He actually says that the food is a lot better here than in his house. There are also a lot of differences in the language. Believe it or not, i{ve helped him with his mexican spanish, and at times, i{ve been the one who has had to translate things so that the people understand. Haha, obviously he speaks better spanish than do, but there{s a lot of words that exist here that he had never heard of before, and a words that are spoken in his house that people don{t understand at all. 

I love every one of you and  im thankful for you letters and for everything you do for me. Stay safe, and read the scriptures! Love Elder Mecham