Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Cuauhtemoc, Week 12

Well first of all, Happy late birthday Mom! Sorry that it was a bit stressful and that I missed it once again... but next time I’ll be there haha. Well this week was great here.  We had the piano recital in the end and I played Faded (some electronic song that sounds amazing on piano) and perfect by Ed Sheeran. Not the most hymn songs but they are a few songs that I’ve learned that I’ve gotten well known for. But don´t worry I also know a solid number of hymns and those that I don´t know it takes about 30 min to an hour to learn. It´s been fun to learn a lot of songs.  I look forward to finally taking advantage of the piano in the house with some actual music. I am also super excited for the move, the new neighborhood looks amazing... so I hope everything works out well and the negotiating goes well.  I´m not sure which house is the Tuscan house (quite frankly my house buying terminology is a little rusty) but from what i´ve seen for the houses for sale, it looks like a great area! And a 1 hour plane ride isn´t too bad.  I´ll come to visit and we can leave Maren in Utah studying haha (nah just messing). But either way I look forward to being home to help out in the whole process because it is going to be quite a large process indeed with all the animals and items. And before getting into my letter I want to say I’m genuinely impressed that Maren found a prom date with longer and better kept hair than her own :p hahaha. And tell Nate after he drowned his iPhone, welcome to the Nokia phone life. I have a very strong testimony that they are nearly impossible to break, I’ve thrown mine, knocked doors with it, lost it several rivers, thrown it off of bridges, and yet through it all it remains working and with minimal scratches.

Alright, onto what we did this week, the biggest accomplishment was that we committed 3 people to be baptized this next week. The first was a sister that we have been teaching for a while, but she has been a little nervous about getting baptized.  About a month ago we talked to her about baptism and she said that when my companion is about to go home she will be baptized, and well this week is the last week with my companion! So she finally consented for Saturday... Not the most exciting commitment to baptism that I’ve had, but hey! It´s a baptism so that is what matters. The other 2 people were actually a lot cooler. They are a reference from Chihuahua City from a missionary who baptized the daughter/sister of these 2 sisters. So, we finally had a moment to organize an appointment and when we arrived some members led by the spirit had arrived an hour earlier and talked to them about the church and offered to take to church and the activities. They were just leaving when we arrived.  The investigators freaked out when we arrived with happiness and the mother (she´s like 60 for reference) said that she was angry that the missionaries in Chihuahua didn´t let her get baptized because they told her that she wasn´t from their area, so when we arrived she told us that she wanted to be baptized yesterday (Sunday).  The daughter (she is 30ish) said she also wanted to get baptized but wanted to wait a week to understand for herself, not to get an answer solely because saw the change in her sister who got baptized.  They wanted that light in their lives.  So we taught them the baptism interview and put the date down for this weekend! It was a complete miracle that my district and I were praying for!

The other great part of the week were my interviews with President. This day was pretty intense, the president arrived at 9 in the morning and left at 10 in the night just because how long the interviews of the zone took and for temple recommends for the members of the branch.  Anyways to give a bit of background I have started to study a lot on revelation and "calling down heaven´s powers".  I can´t understand revelation unless I’m obedient with exactness to the rules of the mission (easier said than done haha). So this past month there was a certain subject that was coming up in the mission that has been severely bugging me so I’ve been praying to receive answers.  I wrote down all answers and feelings in a book.  So when I finally had my interview with president, I discussed with him what I had received, and to make an hour and a half long interview short we both left with answers we were looking for, on my part questions for why I was put with a missionary that is considered the most difficult in the mission. And on his part questions and plans on how to develop the mission to improve success and new opportunities. There have been few times that i have felt the spirit as I felt it in that interview, I am honestly so glad that he will be living close to our house in Arizona when he finishes in a year, he is a great guy, i love the opportunity to help in whatever way I can.

Well that was my week here! I believe i will be calling about 5 or 6 on Sunday, it is going to be interesting though because my companion needs to go to Chihuahua that day so... well I’ll keep you updated!

con mucho amor! 

-- 
Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtemoc, Week 11

Wow, I just realized I have entered my last 12 weeks. This means that they could be buying my plane ticket any one of these days, and I start a program that is more or less the MTC in reverse that prepares one to return back to the non-missionary life, weird.  That is crazy that people are already placing bids to buy our house, I guess you guys better start getting a house over in Arizona because time is running short! That is a little weird to think that I might return to Arizona (on that note when they ask for my plane ticket they ask for where I am returning to, so I would really like to know that information when you have it haha). Also I can´t believe that mother’s day is in two weeks, I’ll get everything sorted out next week with skype, just send me an email with my username and password because I once again forgot it hahaha.

Alright, well this week passed by super fast which made it very pleasant, due to it being a week full of work. We found several people who are super cool including one in which we had a 6 hour lesson with him, in which the 6 hours involved him talking and me nodding my head in agreement about every 5 minutes.  We probably spoke about 5 times and not longer than 10 seconds at a time. It is great to see that my patience has improved and my ability to stand in one spot while my comp tried to cut the circulation in his legs to make him faint, unfortunately it did not work... maybe next time haha. Besides that investigator all of our lessons went well and almost every one of them offered us food.  I´m not sure if it has been a blessing or a curse but my entire mission I have been dramatically blessed with food, it is rare that I don´t get randomly offered food from someone on the street or that an investigator doesn´t offer us food.  It´s a miracle that I have withheld my incredible handsome body frame.

This week we had our zone conferences with president Montoya.  As always it was a great experience and he focused a large part of the talk on the new prophet’s message from the Sunday morning session regarding revelation and the new beginning for our mission. Our mission has been trusted with a pilot baptism plan that if all goes well could change how the missions in Mexico baptize and should heavily increase numbers of converts that remain in the church. Guess we shall see how it goes.

Well right now I’m off to a piano recital.  We promised a member that teaches piano we would help her out. I believe that i will be playing perfect by Ed Sheeran.  I guess we shall see how it goes. Beautiful song I just never get to practice it. But I’m playing with other people who are learning just basic piano so I think even if I mess up a little the parents will just be happy to hear something that sounds like a real song (not to say anything bad about those learning instruments), but it is painful to hear the same 5 songs for 2 hours).

Have a great week, con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Cuauhtémoc

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Cuauhtemoc, Week 10

Well it is great to hear that the decision to move has finally been made.  In the end I’ve known for a while now, and it seems like everyone I’ve been talking to talk about how great Arizona is as a place to live.  It´s been cool though, my most recent convert visits Arizona 3 times a year and wants to enter the temple with me in one year. So that will be an awesome experience! I´ll also be down there when my mission president returns home to Arizona, so in the end I’ve felt it coming know for a while. Besides that, I look forward to my classes at USU, and I look forward to the challenge! it will be a busy year, but it´ll be a good year, and with my weekends more or less free I think it should all work out and allow me to have more or less social life. It sounds like everyone is doing good.  Maren is sending memes that I don´t understand, Nate is getting beautified, Ella has her horse, and Henry and Charlie are wimpy, yet sounds like everything is back to normal haha.

Well this has been one dramatic week here in my district that ultimately ended in changes for one of the missionaries within my district. Well let´s start at the beginning.  We know that the church is run on revelation, right? Well, whenever one gets changed to an area, part of the "fun" in that experience is to know why God wants you in that area. This week was one of those weeks.  We had some challenges with a companionship that led to their transfers despite trying to help.  We had the opportunity to work with each of them on their relationship and mission goals. It was needed because they have 11 investigators ready to be baptized.  Today arrived the new missionary, he is a super awesome missionary that has a lot of experience in the mission and will help a lot in the district, which is going to be necessary because our district has the goal of baptizing every week.  We are going strong!  Now we just need to keep it up! But yep in the end although it was hard to transfer someone I’m just glad that is was for the good of all and as long as the people here get baptized I’m happy haha.

Well the other more fun experience of this week happened today! I found a volleyball net and a grill while cleaning my house here, so... we organized a massive a volley BBQ with the zone. It ended up being super fun because we don´t do too much zone activities here and the zone was getting a little depressed with only writing every week. So, we decided to mix it up a bit. We charged everyone 50 pesos and we had a massive hamburger feast with cake! Everyone played volleyball while I cooked the burgers, that was a little sad, but that is what happens when you organize the event haha. 

Well that was my week, learning a little more about charity and ministering. The sister missionaries also dressed up the district with their respective personalities and style, i´ll send some pictures.

The mission is awesome! But the experiences are what makes it that great!

con mucho amor,

-- 
Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Cuauhtemoc




Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cuauhtemoc, Week 9





I´ll am waiting for someone to find those pictures of Maren and after her wisdom teeth, those will be worth gold pretty soon haha.  My classes in the school look pretty nice! Lots of science, math, and a bit of business to spice up life a little, it´s going to be a fun experience that is coming up fast! I only have 2.5 cycles left in the mission! That is crazy!  And in terms of the heat over there in Arizona, looks like we are both suffering with that, but it´s all good I can start to lose the thousands of tortillas (still counting but in my journal I’m around 2735ish) I’ve eaten by walking in the scorching heat.

Well this week was a bit crazy, but it was full of great experiences that ultimately ended with a baptism! Well I’m not sure I have commented it before hand, but I’m in charge of an Area called Anahuac where there are only sister missionaries right now.  This area has only been recently opened after 2 years (if you want to know why just google missionaries in Anahuac, Chihuahua, third result). Anyways the sister missionaries have finally prepared someone to be baptized this week. As their leader I was in charge of helping to prepare everything. Alright now to go into the step by step process.  First no one knows why but the water had been cut for the last 2 weeks, and well to save a long painful experience, the bathrooms were not the cleanest, best smelling thing that I have experienced in my mission. In reality it was probably the most potent smell that has every stained a church... Well we went with the man that is in charge of the building maintenance to Anahuac and we turned on the water and opened all the windows, the following day we returned with the Sister missionaries and about 4 gallons of cleaning liquids. We then spent the next couple of hours deep cleaning every aspect of this building. And we pulled it off! Although I now have great respect for the people that clean the portable bathrooms, that is something that I will never get into. After cleaning the building I did the baptism interview for the an investigator (Ruby).  Then we headed off to eat! Afterwards I contacted everyone in the zone trying to find baptism clothes and somehow there were no clothes in the entire zone... this was strange because our zone is baptizing more than any other zone, but hey I don´t judge haha. So in the end I had to use my recently gained taco money to buy a baptism dress, it´s alright though I consider that I’ll be blessed for the sacrifice haha. Big problem though is that we have a baptism planned that could result in more than 10 people being baptized at once!  Hopefully we can find some clothes by then haha. Alright on Saturday we arrived for the baptism along with half the zone, and the mission president! That was a surprise haha.  In the end it ended up going really well.  The water was warm and I didn´t mess up on the prayer, miracles happen haha.  Also, I learned how to play the EFY medley, which ended up being our special music number for the baptism, great times!

An interesting but cool experience occurred when we went to vist an investigator that we are preparing to be baptized in 2 weeks. We arrived, and we had planned to teach her about prophets (she came to conference), however when we arrived we started to talk and all of a sudden, she started asking us if she gets a divorce can she still get baptized. We were taken back a bit because she had never mentioned something like this to us.  We began to talk and explained that divorce should always be the last option and we started to identify what was the source of the problem. Anyways turns out she and her husband have tried to completely avoid each other for almost a year now due to differences in opinions and because the two of them have a lot of pride and don´t what to admit or accept the other´s point of view. We began to teach over the need of communication and something that we as missionaries do called a companionship “inventory” (horrible stuff but it works haha). That afternoon she and her spouse went off to a park and talked about all the problems they have, and so far it looks like it worked really well! We will see how everything goes with time, and we will try to teach the husband as well.

Oh almost forgot, changes came around, and nobody got changed.  The sister missionaries had one added on, but everyone else is the same. This was great news because our district and zone are strong! So it was a tiny miracle that we don´t have to start over from step 1 again.

Well that was our week, glad that everyone is doing well, and it was good to hear about everyone’s adventures!

Con mucho amor,

--
Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Cuauhtemoc

Cuauhtemoc, Week 8

Well there isn´t too much to update this week besides general conference.  My companion was dying from his cold this entire week, and to sum it up, I have learned that it takes two oxen to lead a wagon, but if one of those oxen is half dead, and the other works super hard, he can literally drag the other one to have some success.  That basically sums up my week hahaha, A good miracle that we had was when we were knocking on doors, my companion had decided that he was angry that I wanted to knock on doors while he wanted to rest with the members like we had the other days, but I decided to find new people, so he sat behind a parked car while I worked.  It ended up being a cool experience because we found a youth that had been visited by the missionaries previously and had been waiting to talk to us again.  He let us right in and we talked and taught with him.  It was a good day and my companion got to rest a bit in the house of someone who is not an already active member haha. But that is just how the mission is at times, just means we have to work hard and even though at times we have trials in this life we just got to keep pushing until we win, and as with all obstacles we learn a little and get a little stronger every time. So even though in the mission we have hard companions at times we have to take the opportunity to learn and become better. Because as they said in Conference, we must learn to be meek and learn that everyone has something to teach us.

Well onto Conference, the changes were amazing.  I still am not sure what the new ministering program is, but I assume I’ll learn more about that when I get home.  In terms of the high priests and Elders quorums being merged, that sounds like a very efficient improvement, that will help everyone to learn together in an environment of knowledge and experiences and if everything goes well create a very efficient ward.  So that will be quite the interesting experience to see here in the mission and in the house afterwards. One of the talks that I thoroughly enjoyed was by the Elder Zivic from the Sunday morning session, about how our kayak often can´t be steered because we have a crack we can´t see. Here in the mission there are often times when one can´t see why they aren´t having success or they aren´t receiving an answer, and often it is because they aren´t being obedient with exactness or they have their mind focused on things that aren´t important, as well as several other problems that arise. All of which at times I have seen in myself, and after almost a year and a half of being a leader and missionary, I have seen it in others and have helped them repair their cracks. In the end the most efficient way to fix the spiritual cracks in our own lives is by simply asking God what are causing them and like the prophet said, God wants to talk to us, he wants to hear us, and he wants to help us to improve. Cool Talk.

Well it was great to know that everyone is improving in health, and that spring is in the air, and I’m glad that everything for school is in order so I can stop stressing over that as well hahaha.  Well my companion got over his cold, so this week should be a great week! and end of cycle!

con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Cuauhtemoc