Monday, December 31, 2012

Letter #84 12/31/12 feliz ano nuevo! Special Changes!

At the mission Christmas Party!  Ho Ho Ho!

In Costa Rica, the new area!

Greetings familia

It was nice talking to you! Christmas day was definately one of the craziest days of my mission. They called me at 2 telling me i was going to have special changes, and that i had to be at the mission offices with all my stuff at 4. Thanks to some awesome members that helped me pack and with a ride, i was able to make it there on time to talk to you guys. After our skype call, i came straight to my new area. I'm in Costa Rica!! (the city) It's right outside of Culiacan. It's a really small town. There's only 4 missionaries here, being my district, and both areas are super insanely small. It's a branch so there's not too much attendance, but i'm used to that. So far i have really liked my area. We have about 4 or 5 pueblitos that belong to our branch as well but i still haven't visited a single one. We have plans to go tomorrow. 

My companion is Elder Knowles from springfield, Utah. He has about 6 months in the mission and we get along great and have a lot of things in common. I asked him if he knows Knowles in Draper and he said he wasn't sure.. He doesn't have a lot of time here in this area, actually, he and his companion that he had before i arrived were opening the area and only had 1 week here so we are basically starting from scratch. I love a good challenge! So far we've met some really promising people that we're hoping to find and teach this week. 

Yesterday was epic. It rained ALL DAY. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but our area has a total of 2 paved streets. Luckily Elder Knowles also likes to hike so we had a good time getting muddy the whole day. We get lost quite a bit since we still don't know the area too well and have been walking quite a bit. For the first time i was really happy to have my boots. Here, they don't sell oranges by the pound, or by the kilo, but by the bucket!! We bought 2 buckets of oranges for 30 pesos along with 4 kilos of bananas. I love Sinaloa!! 

I hope you all behave yourselves and set inspired goals for the new year! I'll only be setting goals for the first 6 months and worry about the rest later.. I love being a missionary, the gospel, and all of you guys!!  Happy new years!! Elder Mecham

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Letter #83 12/24/12 Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas eve! I hope all is great at home. I was glad to get
emails from every one of the LLoyds. Thanks guys! I love you all.
Also, i´v recieved all the packages you sent me. 2 from mom, 1 from
the Lloyds, 1 from the Kilbournes, and 1 from grandma and grandpa.
Thanks everyone!!

I´ll start out with the call. It will be a Skype call! We´re going to
be doing it from the church building with a brand new laptop and a
great internet connection so im not really too worried. We´ll be able
to talk for 1 hour so have your questions ready. It´ll be tomorrow,
the 25th, at 4 in the afternoon. I wanted the morning but we´re going
to be having our district meeting. I´ll log on to lexi´s account and
look for you guys. If for some reason it doesn´t work out, call
6677539902. It´s the number of the church.

We don´t have too much time today, but we had a great week this past
week. Elder Staply and i get along great. He´s a good guy. We found a
few new investigadors and were able to put a few baptism dates. We had
little time to work because of the Christmas activities. The ward
activity was a blast. It consisted of lots of food, Mexican Christmas
musis, and jump rope! I dominated. The Mission Christmas activity was
also really fun. We played dodgeball, ate food, and had a 3 hour
testimony meeting. It was super spiritual. President Cantu is a man.
Tonight we´re going to have dinner with an awesome family in the ward.
We´re going to break a piƱata, and eat menudo!! There´s nothing better
than a Mexican Christmas. They gave us permision to return to the
house at 1030 so it should be a memorabe night.

Christmas is pretty amazing. It´s always strange being away from the
family, but this is the last Christmas i´ll ever have as a missionary.
I´ll never have another chance to serve people every minute of every
day and help them realize the importance of our savior and all the
blessings we recieve. I´m thankful for the gospel, my family and all
my friends, and for this amazing opportunity to serve the lord being a
missionary. I´m glad to be here in the mission and i´d never trade it
for anything.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and that you know i love you.
I´ll see you tommorrow!! Love Elder Mecham

p.s. mom, i was only able to send this to you because i´m using an old
computer. BYE!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Letter #82 12/17/12 New Companion!

Dear family,

There´s not much time today. I don´t know if you were keeping track or not, but we had changes. I´m still here in Culiacan. Elder Aleman left for los mochis and i recieved Elder Stapley, a gringo!! My second one since i arrived to Mexico. He has about a year in the mission and i´m excited to be working together. He´s from Mesa, Arizona.

This past week we had a good time working. I´m getting used to having changes. Yesterday felt like any other day even though they were calling us to tell us our changes. Beforehand they always called us saturdays, but recently they´ve been calling us Sunday evening giving us less time to pack, but more time to work and stay focused.

We have a pretty exciting week planned. Tomorrow we have the ward Christmas celebration.It´s a taquiza! Everyone´s going to bring their favorite dish and we´re going to bring investigadors. Wednesday we have the mission christmas activity. This is probably the most anticipated activity of the whole year since all the missionaries in Sinaloa get together and play dodgeball!! I´m pretty stoked.

This change we´re planning on having a lot of success. Hna O and her daughter are both super excited. We found out that hermana O drinks coffee... This means she´ll have to wait until Jan 14 to get baptised, but i know it´s for the best. We also went to Tepuche this past week. It´s a little city about 20 mintutes from Culiacan that belongs to us. It was nice hitch hiking again. I always enjoy the ranchitos! We´re going to keep working there. We foud a couple people who are interested in the gospel and going to church.

About the phone call, i still don´t know if it´ll be a call or skype. I´m also not sure when or where, but don´t worry. I´ll tell you everything next monday. Chances are that it will be Christmas morning around 10ish. I highly doubt it´ll be Christmas eve like last year. I´m looking forward to talking with you and i hope you are all there. I love Christmas, and i love being a missionary. Have an Amazing week! Love Elder Mecham

Monday, December 10, 2012

Letter #81 12/10/12 Happy Birthday Dad!

Landon's District in Culiacan!

Landon at the Botanical Gardens

Buenas Tardes, and happy birthday dad! Thanks for being such a great father. Hope everything is good at home, and that you're enjoying Christmas and the cold!
We had another pretty decent week. Some of our investigadors are really starting to progress, while at the same time, we've had to leave quite a few because they weren't completing with their part. P, the sister that was escogido, told us that she didn't want us to keep visiting her because she likes her church more. We asked her if she read and prayed and of course she said no. Reading in the book of mormon is EVERYTHING! If someone who seems like a golden investigador never reads, they're never going to progress. When they read, they recieve revelation without even realizing it and little by little come to know that the church is true. If they don't read and pray, satan slowly works his way in and destroys the tiny seed that we plant and the investigador falls. 

We have several baptism dates for the 29 of December. We're going to be praying that they can all work out. We have one couple that needs to get married and a couple other people who still need to go to church without our help and pay tithing. These new rules are tough, but it's for the best. Our ward is also really excited right now, they are all helping us a ton and we're recieving a lot of references. 

Yesterday Elder Aleman and I both spoke. I based my talk on the scripture Isaias 58:10. It says that when we serve the hungry and afflicted, that we're lifted up out of our own darkness and recieve light. I related the subject of service to missionary work since the best way we can serve is by sharing the gospel. I remembered preparing my farewell talk which was also on service, i honestly don't remember much from that talk, but i can say that my method of preparing is a lot different now. 

Today Elder Aleman and I went to el Jardin Botanico. It's a sweet gardin that has a lot of different plants and natural art. It was pretty intense. I almost felt like i was with our family on vacation or something because Elder Aleman wanted to stop and read EVERY little description and take pictures of EVERYHING (remind you of someone?) haha but we had a good time. I'm attaching a picture. I'm also going to attach a picture of my district. I love you all and hope you all read the scriptures. Love Elder Mecham 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Letter #80 12/3/12 Querido Family!

Landon and cute little turtles!!

Cute yummy little turtles!

A papaya tree in front of the bishop's house!

This week was pretty decent. I hope it was great for all of you. First of all, it´s still incredibly hot in Culiacan, but i´m still feeling the Christmas spirit thanks to Marcies Christmas lights! Thanks Aunt marci. We have been enjoying the sun and doing a lot of searching this week. We had very few investigadors in the begginning of the week, and after a lot dilligence, we have more! We did a lot of street contacting and asking members for references. We´ve had a huge problem here, and it´s that we have a ton of directions of people from references from the members, street contacts, etc.. But when we arrive to the house, there's nobody! It happens ALL day EVERY day. Every hour of they day we put 4 plans, and usually we end up going with all four, finding nobody. However, we were still able to have success.
We had a great experience on Wednesday. A member was going with us to contact a reference that she had given us, her friend was busy and jehovas witness so she sent us off, but on the way back to the house of the sister, we contacted a women sitting on a bench. Her name is O. At first she was giving us excuses, saying she didn't have time to talk. I thought she was going to be like the majority of contacts and tell us she believes in the virgen and doesn't want to change. We quickly shared with her about the restoration. I testified, my companion testified, and the sister that was with us testified. After about 5 minutes she ended up giving us her address and we invited her to church. We weren't able to find her after that but it turned our on Sunday she went to church!! And she brought her 2 daughters that are also old enough to get baptised! We haven't even taught her yet but she has a lot of potential. Our mision has been talking a lot lately about the class of investigadors that we're baptising. Lots of times, people get baptised who really shouldn't get baptised. We need to search for people who can be future leaders, people who are self relient, and are repented. 

Our testimony meeting yesterday was super powerful. I couldn't believe how many members got up to bear their testimonies, and their testimonies were all perfect, brief, yet powerful. A recently baptised family that has really impressed me shared their testimonies and i couldn't believe how strong they were after only 2 months as members. It's a young couple with about 4 little kids, 2 of which are already members, but they all gave their testimonies. Even their kid that's only 6 years old, and he did it alone! I can't even describe how much i'd love to find a family like that. I know God blesses us according to our desires we obey him, and have faith. My companion and i have been praying a lot to find a family and i actually think that Hna O is an answer to our prayers. 

I'd say one of the best parts of the week was last night at 6. We went to the Christmas devotional!! It was incredible, i especially loved President Monsons talk. We were only going to go if we brought investigadors but we hadn't invited anyone. At about 530 we went with a young couple that we've been teaching, invited them, and we went!! They brought their 2 kids, a 1 year old baby and a 5 year old girl. They were incredibly rebelious during the devotional, but it was all great! 

Thanks mom for sending the package to Elder Aleman. He'll really appreciate it. I'm going find out if it'll even be possible to skype for christmas, but the rule is that we have to do it in the house of a member, and that could be hard. Also, i really don't trust the computers or internet connections of the members. It's a little different here than in our house. It could turn out really bad, but i'll look into it. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Christmas season! Elder Mecham