Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reforma in Cuahtemoc, Week 1

Well first of thanks for the money to buy the suit! Odds are it won´t be the highest quality of suit but it´ll be a fun experience to grab either way haha. It sounds like the construction has started in the house in Logan and that it will be a fun project.  It’s a shame I’ll arrive for the end of it, but at least I’ll get to enjoy the end result! Oh and the other cool thing is the challenge from the prophet about social media.  A whole bunch of youth here are super into it and have used it to be missionaries. Due to the fact that when their friends ask them why they aren´t on Facebook or Twitter they can explain about a living prophet and what our church believes! It has been an awesome opportunity!

Alright well the biggest announcement of this week is that I got changed! And dang was this change intense...  I´ll start from the beginning when I was still in Del Norte. The biggest thing that happened is a golden investigator that we have her name is Mari, she is a sister that we found the first week that I arrived in Del Norte (the first week I didn´t write), we contacted her in front of a grocery store, when we first made an appointment with her she was not in her house. The thing here in Mexico is that everyone talks to you and tells you that you can visit them, so you make appointments to know if they actually have interest.  When she wasn´t at her home we took it as a sign that she didn´t want anything.  So we went on our way, however about a week later we felt the need to return back to her house, and good thing we did when we got there we had an amazing lesson in which she committed to go to church. That Sunday we passed by her house to give her a ride and she came outside with her spouse and they both came to church for the 3 hours and they loved it! We continued to visit them and this Tuesday we set a baptism date for her for the 23 of this month, and although we got changed out and there aren´t missionaries right now and for a long time, the members stepped up and are working hard with them. And this past Sunday they went to church! And have a great desire to be baptized!

The week was great up until Wednesday night, when we learned that someone did not want the missionaries around and went to extreme measures to show us his dislike through phone calls.  The following morning another incident happened that required the president of the mission to act and remove the 5 missionaries that were in this ward out of the city of Chihuahua! (I’m going to save the details until I get home, because I think mom will come and drag me back to Utah). But to share the best part, I was able to see first hand the power of God, it´s honestly a miracle to be able to still have the chance to write and breath... it´s honestly such a great story I can´t wait to share it when I get home, but right now is not the time or the place especially for those that are going to serve future missions, especially in Chihuahua. But I now know without a doubt the missionaries are super protected.  You just have to be sure to follow what the spirit says otherwise you probably won´t get as lucky as I did haha. Anyways for this reason, I got changed! And I’m training! Best changes ever! My kid’s name is Elder Flores and he has 2 months in the mission I only arrived to finish his training.  He is from Bolivia and I honestly understand about 50% of what he says, his accent is strong and he uses vocabulary from Bolivia, but he´s a great guy and we are going to see miracles together!

Right now, we have 5 people prepared to be baptized, 4 are members of 1 family, and the other is a girl who is an Indian from Chihuahua, she is super cool! a little crazy, but so am I, so it´s going to be great!
Well that was my week here! oh also my new area is called Reforma in Cuahtemoc (a.k.a the promised land)
Con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión


Del Norte, Week 1




Well the biggest update of these past few weeks was that I got made a zone leader again... I was not super excited for that update when the president made it in a special conference, and it was super unexpected. Here in the mission Mexico Chihuahua missionaries don´t ever finish the mission as zone leaders.  The last one that did was about 6 months ago and before him about 10 months ago. It´s not something common and quite frankly I was really hoping to train in my super cool area in Cuahtemoc, but instead they sent me back to Del Norte the area I was in before I went Cuahtemoc. Every time I eat with the members they always ask where I’ve been because they thought I got changed, but here I am after 4 months. On the good side I’ve got a lot of good friends here in the ward, and well my zone... it´s pretty darn cool as well. They are a little disanimated, but i´m pretty good and getting rid of that!
These past few weeks have been full of work. My companion it a great guy but he changes with his companion, and well his last companion was the type of missionary that got our emailing privileges revoked for 2 weeks…. every day after eating he would take of his clothes and put on regular clothes so that my companion couldn´t make him work.  That took a toll on my companion and more than anything on the area and the zone because this same missionary was here for about 3 months.  So when I arrived my comp and I started to work super hard and we asked for miracles daily, and we´ve seen it! We´ve found people that in the first lesson they committed to be baptized and then come to church the following Sunday! It´s been amazing! The best part has been the ability to call down miracles, my personal favorite is that we prayer in the same way that the servant Abraham did when he looked for the spouse of Isaac, in other words specific prayers.  We pray for help knowing which people are ready to be baptized by asking for them to respond in certain ways. It´s been awesome, we found the strangest people that the Lord has chosen this way. Right now I have 7 weeks left, and we are going to see what we can achieve in such a short time.
Well it was great to hear from you all! Have an excelente week with the first weeks of summer!
Con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Del Norte (part 2)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Cuauhtemoc, Week 13



Well first of all it was great to see you all! I can´t believe that was my last video call... yep that is a little weird to think about, it is also weird to think that I am now the oldest missionary in my zone.  I feel like I’m not that old hahaha.  I’ve only got about 22 months now haha. It’s alright though I’ve just got to make the best of these last 10 weeks to get a few more converts here in Cuauhtemoc so that when I come back to visit I’ve got a few people to see. Also, although it was disappointing to hear that everything fell through with the house and the new house, I guess we will just have to see what God has planned over there in Arizona and in Utah, we just need to keep praying and go to the temple (those of us that can...darn mission haha).. On that note I think it would be super cool since I’m getting back pretty early if we can head out to lunch, and then off to the temple so that I can visit it at least one time more as a missionary (I only had the chance to do it in the mtc in Mexico once). And that Monday is a relaxing day, and then Tuesday the 24th starts the party haha.

Alright well onto the week, well my companion is now in his house, he finished this week and at 10 this morning left on the plane.  Meanwhile I did not receive a new companion, this week I am going to be in a trio with Elder Dustin (my mission son) and his comp. Elder Pacheco, 2 missionaries that are in my district and ward. We think that I may get the chance to finish the mission training someone due to the fact that all the new missionaries are going to arrive next week, and technically speaking I don´t have a companion for a week.  I´m just piggybacking on these other missionaries so I’m not breaking any rules haha. But I guess we shall see who my new companion will be this next week. But it is alright meanwhile while I’m here I’m going to help these 2 missionaries to baptize a few people! It´s going to be great!

On that note we baptized 3 people this Saturday! It was great!  One of them was a sister we have been teaching for about 4 months now, she is a little different, but it was really cool she started going to church because her 7 year old kid wanted to get baptized.  So they came and the members instantly befriended her and she has stayed ever since.  The only big problem is that her memory isn´t the best, but we are going to keep teaching her and soon she will be an awesome convert! The other two baptisms where the mother and daughter that I explained in my last letter.  They are super cool, and know everything, they were true golden investigators that were prepared by God! It was an awesome experience for my companion to leave his mission with these last 3 baptisms, as that is the goal of every missionary, to baptize their last week. Great day!

Well this next week should be interesting as I am in this trio, but we are going to work great miracles! And if everything goes well we should be able to baptize as well!

con mucho amor,

-- 
Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Cuauhtémoc

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