Monday, November 26, 2012

Letter #79 11/26/12 Teaching Every Hour

Dear family,

To start things off, we had a great week. I feel like i learned a lot and that our area is progressing little by little. Wow, I will tell you the truth, i completely forgot about thanksgiving. I can honestly say that Thursday i never once remembered that it was a special day. It's kind of a bummer, i planned on eating mashed potatoes for breakfast to celebrate but oh well.. But i did open the Christmas package from Aunt Marcie. Thanks!! Everything she packed in is perfectly delicious. 

This week we were working super hard, trying to find new investigadors. We can no longer knock doors, but we've been doing more street contacts than ever. We try to talk with literally everyone we see, besides the ones that look dangerous, and we've found some people with a lot of potential. The only problem is that in our area, EVERYONE WORKS! They all tell us that they're after 7 PM and on Sundays. Basically, every day after 7 we're incredibly busy trying to find the people that we feel could progress, while still finding time to teach the few investigadors that we're going to keep. Yesterday, someone we've been teaching since the first day i got here finally went to church! Her name is P. She's 23 and is the daughter in law of a less active member. Our problem with her has been that, like everyone, she's impossible to find in her house! She works making crafts and Christmas decorations and little things like that. I think she'd get along great with Mckell. On saturday night we finally taught her for the second time, invited her to church, and she went. It was the primary program yesterday. It was actually really well planned and the kids were all awesome. Our primary would bring some good competition. 

We have been teaching a lot of lessons lately. President Cantu said that we should teach every hour so we've been trying to teach everyone we talk with. The majority of our lessons are super short, and we teach the people where we find them; in their work, in the street, washing their car, the point is that we're teaching them the gospel and planting seeds! And it gives us a long list of future investigadors. We had an interesting lesson with an older lady last week. She was tending her 10 grandkids and they were being a little bit rebelious. She lost her patience and started screaming at a little boy and smacked him bith a belt. I read her Ephesians 6:4. It says not to provoke your children to wrath, but to raise them in the Lord. After that the lesson went really smooth. Her grandkids calmed down, she calmed down, and we were able to feel the spirit. When we share the right scripture in the right time, the spirit always testifies to the investigador and they feel that what we're teaching is true. 

It's been nice to see all the Christmas lights here. We're hoping to have a really WHITE Christmas, and i don't refer to snow, but to children of God dressed in baptismal clothing!! haha, Pres. Cantu said it first.. They told us that this year for the phone call we're going to have 2 opcions. 1) a 2 hour phone call, or 2) one hour talking on skype. We can pick which we want. I cant pick, so i'll let you guys pick. Allthough i will say that i'm leaning more towards the 2 hour phone call. It's more time, more quesions, and i don't even know if there's a member here with skype. But let me know. I love you all, have a great week!!!! 

P.S. mom, what blood type am i?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Letter #78 Working hard in Culiacan!

Dear Family,
We had a pretty decent week this week. First of all, we had a few changes in our district. Elder Romero went to los cabos and an Elder named Elder Cannon came and took his spot. Elder  was sick and couldn't work all of last week. This meant that we had to do splits with them all week so that they could at least work in their area for half the day. We took turns looking after the sick Elder while the other 2 would go out and visit the appointments we had. It was a good week, but unfortunately we weren't able to work in our area too much. However, despite the lack of time, we were able to find an awesome couple that wants to get baptised! Well they accepted baptism dates, but they still have a long way to go.. there married and everything, but before getting baptised they're going to have to go to church without any help from us, pay tithing, and obey the word of wisdom for one month. We're pretty sure the husband drinks and the wife drinks coffee so it could be a little while before they get baptised. Our biggest challenge has been that we haven't been able to find our investigadors! We teach them once, the lesson is awesome, they feel the spirit, and after that they dissapear. Everyone is incredibly busy in Culiacan! They're always going out to eat or to the movies and other activities like that. There're too many things to do here! I'm kind of missing the ranches where everyone just sits in there houses all day.. We've also had a problem with bringing investigadors to church. The people here are great at promising us saturday night that they're going to go, and sunday when we pass be their houses, we find nobody..We have a lot of awesome people right now, we just need to teach with power and authority and make them feel the spirit. However i understand that there are always people who know what they should do, but still don't do it.

We have a pretty awesom district. I've really enjoyed having sisters in my district. They're a ton of fun and are great missionaries. So far they haven't had any crazy cat fights and i'm hoping that continues. Today we went to the Zoo!! It was pretty sweet. It's not too big but it was definately worth it. Elder Aleman is still doing great. He actually doesn't have as much support from his family like i thought. There's a chance i'll be asking for a few things to give to him that he's lacking.

Sorry for the short letter. We are a little short on time, but know that i love all of you guys!! Thanks for everything!! Love Elder Mecham

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letter #77 First week in Culiacan!

Dear family. We had a successful week. To tell you the truth, i don't know what the missionaries were doing here last change because we started out the week with literally zero investigadors. We spent a lot of time going to the houses of the members to get to know them and ask for references. We've actually been teaching them lessons that we would teach the investigadors so that they remember there baptisms and feel the spirit, and once we have the spirit, we start to ask them about their friends. We had some really great experiences.
I'll tell the truth, when i heard that i was going to be coming to Culiacan, i wasn't too happy. Now that í've been here for a week, i'm really excited to be working here. The ward here is AMAZING! All the members LOVE us and are willing to do just about anything for the missionaries. There's a lot of members who are really excited to work with us. Several members have been going to lessons with us and taking us to meet their friends. There are also several members here that are return missionaries. Yesterday i counted the attendance and there were a whopping 115 members!! It's almost as big as my first ward in los cabos, the only difference is that we're the only 2 missionaries here! There's definately a lot of work to be done and i know i'm going to love my time here. Our area is in the outskirts of Culiacan. The majority of the neighborhoods are surrounded my forest or  hills so i really don't feel like i'm in the city. The sisters give us a ton of homemade flour tortillas and Frijoles puercos(pig beans). They're the 2 classic dishes that Culiacan is known for. 

Elder Aleman is a great Elder. We are different. He really likes things like action figures and japones cartoons so we don't have too much in common, but despite our differences, i feel like we're already great friends. He is 22 years old and just got baptised 3 years ago. The majority of his family got baptised with him so he has a little more support than Elder Roman. 

This week we had a surprise Zone Conference. President Cantu spoke just about the entire time. Something that really stuck to me was quote from Boyd K. Packer. He said in simple words, "you find what you look for''. If we're looking for success in the mission, and we put the progress of our investigadors before EVERYTHING, we're going to have success. At the same time if we look for excuses, we're going to find them. 

Hope you all have a great week!! I love you all and hope the best. Love Elder Mecham

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letter #76 11/05/12 Culiacan!!

Hey everyone, where to start.. first of all, i'm in Culiacan! I guess you could say i'm excited. I've never served in Culiacan before and it is the Mexico CULIACAN mission. I really loved my ward and area in Mazatlan but i already had a while there. I was starting to get a little sick of walking the same streets every day... but we had a few investigadors who were really starting to progress so that's always tough. My new area is called Mirador (watcher), and my companions name is Elder Aleman (german, although he's not german, he's from Guerrero, Mexico). I'm still district leader, however my district is a little bigger. There're 4 companionships and 2 sisters! It should be interesting with the sisters. Luckily, i already know both of them and they're really easy going (sisters usually have lots of problems). I'm also super excited because one of the companionships consists of 2 of my former companions in Angostura! Elder Romero and Elder Calleja. We're going to be doing lots of divisions.

This last week in Mazatlan was splendid. D got baptised! He was super excited. I waited until after his baptism to tell him that i was going to leave. I'm going to miss him and his mom. They're both amazing converts. D is going to be an awesome missionary. It was amazing to see him and his mom progress in the gospel. I never got to see hna S get baptised, but she told me that the day she gets baptised that she's going to send the pictures to my email. She had gone to church every single sunday for 2 months, arriving early, and paying her tithing. She already has a goal to go to the temple. She's going to be moving to Tiajuana in about a month and wants go through the temple there.

Our mission is raising the bar as far as converts go. The investigadors now have to go to church 2 times before getting baptised, the diference is that one of those times they need to go without any support from us, or the ward. They also need to make a contribution of tithing or fast offerings before going to church. In the past 3 years there have been 110,000 baptisms in Mexico. Sadly, the attendence has only raised 10,000. Our mission is making a goal to have converts, not just baptisms. This means that we have to really love the people we teach and not just see them as numbers.

Last week we recieved amazing news!! Due to the change in the age requirement for missionaries, the missionaries are going to be in the MTC less time. This means that we're going to have some changes in our release dates. It will now be 3 weeks later! I'm pretty excited to be able to find more escogidos for the 3 weeks. I wanted to tell you now so that you dont plan any big vacations or anything. There also might be a possibility of leaving 3 weeks earlier, but there's still plenty of time to decide.

Thankyou everyone for the packages!! I recieved all 4 christmas packages on saturday. Yesterday i had an incredibly hard time trying to fit them in my 2 suit cases along with my clothes, books, and other essencial items, and today it was even harder trying to haul my 2 suit cases, each weighing 70 pounds, in all the buses, but i'm sure it will all be worth it christmas morning. Thanks!! Love you all, and Happy birthday grandma!!!! Love Elder Mecham