Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30th Post

We received a big blessing sent from Heavenly Father this week! My companion got sick from the zika and we thought we weren’t going to be able to work much in the area because the doctor told him to rest for like a week, but the same day that he got sick the Lord sent Elder Bishoff and Flores to come help us out! Its sad that the 2 elders had to leave their own areas in los altos due to the problems there, but it was a big blessing for Elder Jarrett and I. We were able to give Elder Jarrett the rest he needed and keep working in the area. It was really fun doing these mini intercambios for like 4 days because we were able to learn a lot from Elder Bishoff and Flores. It was extra special because Elder Bishoff is from California like me so we were able to relate pretty well. The best thing is that Elder Jarrett feels pretty much better now and the Elders were able to go back to the altos today. 

When i was with Elder Flores we found a family that just moved to the area due to some marital problems and they all seem pretty interested to hear our message. They have many problems so I hope that they accept this message of comfort and hope that we bring. I am really grateful for being raised in a family with both of my parents. I am not sure why God blessed me so greatly, but i will always cherish the example my parents have been to me in their marriage. 

We have been hearing that they are going to legalize gay marriage in all of Mexico. Whatever happens i know that the Lord does not change the eternal laws and we need to defend the truth and the FAMILY. I have been reading a lot of general conference talks in the last years and i would say that the principal topic in most of the conferences is, the family. I am grateful to know that the Lord will protect us as we defend what is right.

Laura was able to come to church this Sunday, but she wasn’t able to get baptized. Satan has really been working hard to get her down. Her husband and family have been attacking her newly found faith. We will keep praying for her and try to rescue her with the help of the members.

The zone is doing well and they are all animated to work with the members! We are meeting with the member of the high council that’s in charge of family history, Hno. Rosales, to be able to better work in family history in the stake! We are pretty excited! 

I’d like to share just a little quote from Elder L Tom Perry. In his last general conference talk he testified, “My brothers and sisters, the restored gospel centers on marriage and family. It is also on marriage and family where we can unite most with other faiths. It is around marriage and family where we will find our greatest commonality with the rest of the world. It is around marriage and family that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the greatest opportunity to be a light on the hill. Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness". 

Have a great week everyone! 

-Elder Hagues

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 23 Post

This week went really well! We were able to have a lot of members accompany us in this week! We found some good new investigators. Miguel and Nacho are still going well for their baptismal dates. Laura should be getting baptized this Saturday! She has been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon and is really excited to finish the book. Her little daughter Dana always reads the book with her and reminds her to read it when she forgets to. Laura told us that everyday Dana says, "Puedes leerme mi libro de Cristo?". When i heard that this little girl, that is only 2 years old, recognized that the book is about Christ it helped grow my testimony of the promise made in the Introduction of the Book of Mormon, "Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world...". My companion and i have been talking a lot about the importance the Book of Mormon. My companion said that it is like water for us now. If we don’t read it every day we just can’t do our work effectively!

Today I read in 3 Nephi 11 and felt grateful for the example Christ gave us in this chapter of ministering to everyone one by one. We too need to minister to the people around us one by one. I am going to try harder to help the members of the zone individually.

When I was on intercambios with the elders in Central we had an amazing spiritual experience. We were walking down in the streets for hours and couldn’t seem to contact or teach any people that were from their area! Most of the people lived in other places. When the day was coming to an end I kept praying to God so that we could find a new investigator that lived in their area. Sure enough, just like he always does, God answered my prayer. We were about to get to the church to do an activity there and I felt a strong impression to contact this one joven sitting down. He turned out to be really receptive! He accepted the baptismal invitation and we committed him to come to church that Sunday. Turns out his Grandparents are members of our church! His name is Ezequiel Josue and he was pretty proud of the biblical meaning behind his names. The best thing of all was that he lives a couple blocks away from the church! I am so grateful for the miracles God gives to us throughout each day.

Have a great week everyone!

-Elder Hagues

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mothers Day Skype! (1 week late)

Elder Hagues was so busy on Mother's Day, that he had to wait a week to call home.

May 16, 2016

Este semana fue lleno de cosas muy locos pero al final, todo salio muy bien! Tuvimos que ir a muchos lugares para pagar por medicamentos, hacer entrevistas, checar casas y pagar la renta en Villalores y arreglar todo allá. Todavía vamos a tener que regresar a Villaflores para sacar todas las cosas de su casa porque las hermanas no van a regresar pero cuando hablamos con la dueña para decirla que ellas no iban a regresar, ella lo tomo bien y no tuvimos problemas. Creo que vamos a conseguir una camioneta e ir con unos miembros para sacar todo y trearlo a Tuxtla. 

Our zone meeting last Friday went well! All of the missionaries are excited to start with the new focus of the month, Family History! Everyone was feeling that as we help others complete their family history, we will become more consecrated because of the spirit we will feel. We need a lot more baptisms in the zone to help meet the goal of 1000 baptisms in 2016. so we put a goal together as a zone to have 40 baptisms in the rest of this transfer. Its about 3 baptisms for every area. We are about 2 weeks into our 40 day fast as a zone too. Basically every day one of the companionships is going to be fasting for the investigators that have baptismal dates and we will be doing this for 40 days. We need more faith and i think that this fasting will help us see the miracle of 40 baptisms. This morning I was reading the talk, “Is Not This the Fast That I Have Chosen?” by Henry B Eyring, and i felt the spirit testify to me that fast offerings together with the fast are essential and we will receive many blessings! I really loved the scripture he used in his talk from mathew,

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”.

We are looking for our 3 baptisms in our own area and we have 2 that are really great! Nacho and Laura are still progresing toward their baptismal dates. We are going to need to find one more to be able to meet our goal. Miguel is another posibility, but he didnt go to chruch this last Sunday. Miguel is kind of a tough guy becuase he is in the military, but im pretty sure that he is softening up and the spirit is really changing him becuase he prays more. Miguel told us that before we came he hadnt prayed in year, but now he is praying almost everyday! The spirit is helping him along. 

have a great week everyone! 

-Elder Hagues

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Mothers Day post (May 8th)

Yesterday, May 8th, we had a missionary conference at the stake center that we prepared with the stake president and high councilor in charge of missionary work. At the conference we had a video presentation of all the ex-missionaries in the stake! After all ex-missionaries were invited to come and say their names, where they served in that year and to give a brief description describing their mission.
There were also testimonies of converts, ex-missionaries, senior missionaries and future missionaries. We were responsible for a large part of the conference where we did as a little role playing to show the importance of Preach My Gospel, References, member present lessons, fellowshipping in the chapel and new member progress report.
During the role play we paused often so that some missionaries could explain to the members some of the things that we were putting into practice (from Preach My Gospel, etc.). At the end of the conference President George provided some final instructions and teachings. President Gonzalez, our stake president, also shared his testimony. At the end we all sang “Called to Serve” the first verse being sung only by current missionaries and then the second with ex-missionaries joining in and then the last 2 verses with everyone together. It was like the spirit levels rising up with every verse!!
The spirit was so strong at that meeting that I thought we were going to fly! My companion and I were so very grateful to the Lord for He was the reason why it turned out so well! We are even more encouraged because our (stake) President Gonzalez is INCREDIBLE! He knows how to work and has a very big vision for the stake! When members are encouraged the work goes very well!!
We believe that many of the members will be encouraged and get to work with great diligence. I saw yesterday that the Lord will never allow the work to fail (because we had not even practiced a special musical number that we presented at the conference and it still turned out really even with just a very small missionary choir. I had to be the director too! It was super improvised but it worked!
We have 3 investigators that are doing really well right now so we hope that they can keep going strong!

Happy Mother’s day everyone!!!! (:
-Elder Hagues

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Martin's Baptism

May 2 Post ` Baptism!

This week was amazing! Actually we saw a very big miracle this week. Jose Martin Lopez De los Santos was baptized and now his name is perfect! Martin came to the chapel with his wife Carmelita Sunday in November 2015. Elder Jarrett and I started teaching and he began to progress reading the Book of Mormon a little. From the beginning Martin had the desire to go to the temple one day to be sealed as a family and do the work for his family. Both his parents died when he was young when I hear a lot of the temples excited ! Everything was going well for her baptismal date on December 26 but he started working as a taxi driver and we could never find him at home. Teaching didn't progress and in the end we had to leave because neither could get to church on Sundays . We always tried maintain contact with him and just hoped that one day he would be able to be baptized.

About a month ago, Elder Thomson and I were walking home and saw that he was at home. The 2 of us stood in the street and we asked ourselves, "should we try to teach him again?" Right when I said that Carmelita called out for us to go and teach her husband again. Carmelita never doubted that his time was coming. We talked with Martin and it happened that he would no longer work in the taxi as much as before and wanted to listen again! We started to finish the discussions and he seemed to accept everything, but he still had trouble accepting a baptismal date ... His "iceburg" that prevented him from being baptized was his testimony of Joseph Smith. One night we invited him to pray at that time to see if it was true and whether he should be baptized and accept! We felt very strong spirit at that time. When he finished his prayer he was still not convinced though he said he felt the spirit for a brief moment. He knew that the Spirit had testified to that was true, but because it was a very fast feeling, he still doubted. After a few more days he accepted that Joseph Smith was a prophet and accepted to be interviewed. Still though, he was undecided about being baptised.
At the end of his baptismal interview he was much more sure about the truthfulness of what we had taught him and we set a baptismal date for April 30. The Spirit helped him during the days before his baptism and was finally able to achieve his goal of being baptized. There was certainly some opposition before his baptism but in the end the Lord helped him and everything went well! After his baptism and confirmation, Martin was very happy and grateful. Everyone was happy in the neighborhood, knowing that there would be more priesthood! We believe that what helped him most was his desire to go to the temple and be an eternal family. Carmelita of course is very happy and hopefully Martin also can receive the priesthood this Sunday

There are transfers tomorrow! I'm going to Tuxtla Mactumatza again! haha im going to be in 2 zones my whole mission i think! The other weird thing is that I'm going to be companions with Elder Jarrett again! We are still zone leaders. It should be an interesting experience because its the biggest zone in the mission. wish me luck!!! 

im going to cry leaving Tapachula... 

-Elder Hagues