Monday, August 30, 2010

Hey Fam!

How is everyone? This week has been interesting. We started out the week with just tons of miracles and everything was looking so awesome! We were finding all kinds of people who really need some changes in their lives and just haven't known where to go to find the help. It's been so neat meeting people's needs along the way, but towards the last part of the week everything just started falling apart! It was so frustrating! For like two days straight not a single one of our appointments were there and I was just wondering what was happening to everybody. Then as we started to fill up our time with contacting we just kept hearing the same thing at each house and it just made me start to feel a little bit like I was wasting time. It was frustrating. I'd love to be able to tell you all a miracle story about how everything worked out just fine in the end but that wasn't the case. We had three baptisms set up for this week and everything was going great. The family that was going to get baptized told us multiple times just how badly they needed the gospel and some changes in their lives. They were more than willing to leave behind the bad things in their lives in order to obey the commandments and everything and it was all just perfect. But at the last moment they decided they didn't want to change just yet. Darn. Oh well. I'm confident that I did everything I could to help them, and even though my words weren't the fanciest and my teaching probably wasn't super smooth, I did the best I could, I learned alot, and I saw them grow and feel the Savior's love enter their home. Maybe in a little while they'll change their minds!

This last week our zone had interviews with the President and we had a little training from the zone leaders in the offices. The training was pretty sweet. We learned alot about how to contact and begin lessons to let people know exactly what they can gain from the gospel message, and also to gain their confidence and help them feel confident to put their trust in the Lord. Elder Moberg shared a really cool analogy with us. He mentioned that our zone has had alot of success in helping the people here in Guadalajara, and that alot of other zones look to us as an example of what type of a mission they should be serving. He compared us to that group of people in the front of a marathon. He said right now we're like that group of faster runners in the front of the marathon that leads the rest of the runners. We're doing fine in the race, but none of us are really giving it our all yet. He said that in a race there's always something that happens just before the group of runners starts running their best. One of the runners in the group(whether it be the one in the front, or the back, or somewhere in between), one of the runners has to start running faster. Once the other runners see that somebody started running their fastest, they all start running their fastest as well. They'd all probably do fine just running at a decent pace for the whole race, and that's probably what would happen, if it weren't for the decision of the one runner that decides to start running their best. I don't know how well I explained the analogy very clearly, but the point is alot of people who could do alot better in life, are sort of just going seventy percent ish because everyone around them is sort of doing the same. In order to start that reaction of everyone doing their very best, somebody has to make the decision and be the example. I thought it was a cool example because it applies well for us as missionaries but it can really apply with everthing in life.

So the Christlike Attribute I've been focusing on is Self Mastery. It's been super interesting. I didn't really know what self mastery was completely, let alone how to try to apply it in my life. Some scriptures I've looked up just recently are Psalm 37:8, Prov 15:1, Prov 25:28, Matt 16:24, and Mark 9:43. I found it interesting that the majority of the scriptures I've found in my study of self mastery are about controling anger and speaking kindly. Also about forsaking sin. I've been applying what these scriptures say the best I can, and I've seen a huge difference in my ability to concentrate and better demonstrate and communicate what I really want to. It's sweet! I also love 2 Ne 2:27, because our happiness really does come down to just a decision we need to make every day.

Well the other night we went to visit an investigator and we were a little bummed to find him not home. We were a little near Marco and Beatriz's house so we decided to swing by for the first time in a while. Marco was the only one there and we started to talk to him. He talked about the changes he's seen in his life that have come since he began reading the Book of Mormon. He still doesn't drink, and he's really recognizing what he needs to do to really be happy. He talked about how he recieved a testimony of the Savior once he started changing his life. After that we kneeled down together, and he offered an awesome prayer. The Spirit was super strong, and he said he wants to start coming to church again. Sweet.

Bam- I got your package! I loved it! Thanks bam! and I actually sent you a letter now, I'm not working on sending it, it's actually on it's way! haha. Thanks for everything bam, especially your letters on dear elder and stuff. It sure helps to have such great examples in the fam like you! Love ya bam!

Gram and Gramp- I also sent you guys a letter and it's on the way! I got your dear elder gram and it was so great to hear from you again! Keep me updated on how your doing and all the stuff I'm missing out on with all the other grandkids and stuff. Thanks for telling me about the fishing trip by the way. Brings back great memories! I love you both!

Mom- Yes I remember those days when the philly steak and swiss shack was still up and we use to go there after football practice. That place was awesome! Sounds like the Villegas family is doing great. Cris is going to be such a great missionary. That's funny that you guys didn't recognize Taylor Hauser. haha. Thanks for letting me know about kate. That's scary. Make sure to keep me updated on that please. Well There's a package coming soon for the kids and I wrote you a little note in it, I'm still looking for something cool for you and Dad I could send more around Christmas time. Thanks for everything mom. I love getting your dear elders! Oh about the package your sending I can't think of anything I really need. Just those new pictures will be sweet. I love you Mom!

Dig- Sounds like your soccer game was a little rough man, but I bet you did great! I would've watched the whole thing and cheered. haha. So you have Bajractarevic, Watts, and Beachum? I had those teachers! Crazy. Watch out for Mr. Thor by the way I heard he's pretty tough. Hey here's a cool spanish tongue twister you can try: Cuando cuentes cuentos, cuenta cuantos cuentos cuentas. Porque cuando cuentas cuentos, nunca cuentas cuantos cuentos cuentas. And that actually makes sense in spanish! Love ya dig!

Dad- That's definitely true what you said about the ah hah moments. I've had alot on the mission. Mostly about advice from you and Mom of coarse. That's so sweet the U's season is starting! let me know how that first game goes! Love ya dad!

Sloosh- You got tons of stuff for your birthday! Did you say you got a wallet purse? haha. Just kidding. Your presents from me are on the way! Love ya sloosh!

Den- Sounds like that party at Angel's was crazy! sweet. Ya you can use that saw clock. Taylor Hauser actually made it for me. Haha. It's pretty sweet. Love ya denny o!

Nay- Humanities is sweet huh! You're gonna love all the projects. About that new bow, good luck choosing. haha. I really don't even know what the difference can be! haha. Sweet job with soccer, sounds like your team is really shapin up! So sunsets in Mexico... aren't as cool as the ones in Utah. Not even close. But the weather here is awesome. And the clouds are sooo cool! I don't even know how to explain it but they're sweet! haha. Oh and no I haven't recieved the letter from the Irish girl, I'll let ya know if I do! Love ya nay!

Love you all! I've already sent letters to some of you! Thanks for your letters! I love hearing about everyone! Love ya!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hey fam!

How is everyone? This week has been great. Me and Elder Ripley decided we needed to go the extra mile a little bit more to find people, so we have been and we've been seeing some results. It seems like it's always the last house where we find a family who's ready to hear a message or something (that could be because after we teach a lesson it usually is time to go to the next appointment already and we don't have time to keep knocking on doors or contacting). Anyway. The other day when we were planning we wrote down three street names in areas that we hadn't spent alot of time in and that we felt like would be good places to look. In the first street we ran into this guy named David that's actually from the states. He did three years up there but now he's living down here in Guadalajara as a single father. He already seems to be very blessed by the Lord, and he's really excited to be learning more about the gospel. He also invited us to come to a theme park with him. But we couldn't of coarse. Super nice guy. Anyway, so we finished on his street and realized that alot of time had gone by. We ended up deciding to hurry and go up toward the last street that we had decided to contact before our next appointments. The street was on the exact opposite side of the area, and I'm not familiar with any bus routes that went that particular way so we just walked. The walking took a looong time and by the time we got there we only had about ten minutes to contact before we had to go. The whole way there I was wondering to myself if it was worth it but the Spirit just kept us moving forward. When we got to the street we started walking down the street for a little ways and finally stopped at a random house and decided to begin there. Nobody was home. At the second house they weren't very interested. At the third house a woman named Beatriz answered the door and said that her uncle was investigating our church a while ago and had gived her his Book of Mormon. We set an appointment to teach her and her family the next morning. We got there the next morning ready to share them the message of the Restoration. We had to preach outside because there isn't a man at the house. The lesson was very spiritual and went well. Beatriz's mother began to cry and said she believes the Lord had been preparing their family for the gospel.We found out a little bit about their family background. Not alot, but enough to know that they've had a really hard time. They came to church yesterday and loved it. Also in the class we teach in Sunday school with all the investigators and recent converts, Hilda (the recent convert) told Beatriz and her mother that they should get baptised. We hadn't really had a chance to commit them to that yet or even really talk about it, but it's cool to see Hilda getting excited about missionary work.

Thanks everyone for all your letters and support as usual. Today I literally did get some letters written that will be sent out this week.

Dad- Thanks for your comments about no regrets. I definitely love nothing more that arriving at home knowing I took every opportunity I had to share the gospel. Thanks for your example Dad. Love ya!

Denny- That soccer game sounds intense man! crazy. Way to go your best like you said. That's the best possible way with everything you do. Love ya!

Shash- You already had a birthday party? I already got ya some presents and I'm sending the package this week! Watch the mail! Love ya!

Mom- I don't remember that thing about denny's blessing very well but I laughed thinking about it. I can't believe so many people are getting married. They're insane. Thanks for the letter and everything mom. I'll get those pictures of the area and Elder Ripley and I out next week. I'm attaching a picture of Gabriela's baptism as well. Love ya!

Nay- As far as any advice for your senior year. I didn't have a ton of friends in my senior year classes either, but I sure made a ton of friends. Just enjoy it all (especially Seminary). You're going to love humanities. And don't stress! Anytime you're stressed just think of something that makes you laugh! :) Sweet job on the first Hunter High goal of the season! Keep smiling! Love ya!

Dig- So ya went to a boring fireside huh? I don't know if you've heard that quote. I can't remember who said it but it was a Prophet or General Authority. Someone asked him what he did when he was in a boring Sacrament meeting and he said "I've never been in a boring Sacrament meeting." Always remember dig that we should always pray to feel the Spirit, and pray for the Spirit to help whoever's speaking. We should never miss out on any opportunity to learn from on high! There's alot we can gain when we listen that way. I can't believe you've got a cell phone now man. That's crazy. Just don't text alot it's a huge waste of time! Just imagine if I would have practiced Karate instead of texting everytime I wanted to text. I'd be an ultra Karate master by now. haha. And junior high man. Crazy. Just never stop smiling and be nice to everybody because those are the coolest kids! And don't eat undercooked sausage pizza from the cafeteria. I still remember that day. Sweet about the fishin trip! How's Josh doin? Love ya!

Love you all thanks for everything!

Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Monday, August 16, 2010

Great Email! Love it!

Hey Family!

How are you all? I've been great. This week has been awesome. I've been focusing on the work more and more everyday and my companion is as well and we're seeing alot of great things happen in the area.

Yesterday Gabriela was baptized after church. She was going to go to the beach and have to wait another week to get baptized but then her dad got sick and they didn't end up going. That's too bad that her dad got sick but she did ended up getting baptized so that was good. The adversary was sure working hard to stop that baptism though. We planned to have the baptism right after the church services. We had called the elders from the ward that meets right before ours and asked them to get the font ready for us and they said they would. We got to church fine and Gabriela showed up on time and excited for the whole thing. We recognized we forgot the cameras so we had to run home and grab them. Then we came back to the church and checked the font, to find it half full of freezing cold water! I don't know who turned the water off but it wasn't super full. And it was cold because the boiler at the church had run out of gas or something so we couldn't heat the water up. Also there were three dead crickets at the bottom of the font but Elder Ripley grabbed them before anyone saw. Anyway. To top off the font problem we found out that some missionaries from a different area had borrowed our baptismal clothes for the baptisms they were having at the same time. We called the zone leaders and they started on their way to bring us some baptismal clothes. The clothes didn't end up getting there for about an hour and a half, so everyone was just waiting around for almost two hours after church to see the baptism. The brother who was going to give a talk had to leave, so I came up with a quick talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost. When the zone leaders finally showed up with the clothes, they were a little surprized to find that Gabriela isn't a very small girl... They had brought two sets of clothes, one for children, and one for slightly larger children. We were totally at a loss for what to do at that point and we felt horrible for making everyone wait so long (especially Gabriela). Elder Ripley, one of the Zone Leaders, and I went into a room and said a prayer that some how the clothing situation would work out. We just gave Gabriela the clothes after and told her they might be a little tight. They ended up fitting her fine! Sweet. Anyway, we got the ordenance done (Elder Ripley got to baptize for his first time in the field), and then were about to head to our food appointment when we found out the family that was going to feed us had left the city. Then we heard that President wanted to interview us to see how Elder Ripley was doing since he's still pretty new. We started heading toward the Presidents house, called him to let him know we were on the way, as he let us know he no longer had time. So Sunday was pretty crazy!

We've been really working on teaching people full lessons on contact when we're knocking on doors lately. If we can just get into their homes and bring the Spirit with us it really helps them to recognize the power of the gospel. It's amazing how well the Lord knows his children, and how much He's changing their lives down here through His gospel. I'm just thankful to be a part of it!

Shash- Sounds like mill hollow was pretty cool! that's a fun experience. You have a pretty busy week coming up! You'll have to let me know how it goes! Love ya Sloosh!
Den- It sounds like Raging waters was a blast denny-o! Way to go teaching your friend to do a backflip!
Dad- I loved the Duncan JalapeƱo story! haha. That dog is crazy. Speaking of your sense of humor (that you mentioned in the e mail) The other day I used your joke of how you use to always pretend you were the one who got hurt whenever I got hurt, then say "oh it was you, I thought it was me! Few!" or something like that. My comp didn't think it was that funny. Sweet job on the triathlon! Love ya dad!
Nay- Where's Jon going? Like what city? That's awesome about Set's last words. haha. Good luck on your first game coming up. I bet you guys smoke them! You'll have to let me know how Humanities goes! Do you have Mrs Christensen? That was probably my favorite class ever! (besides seminary, and maybe film studies). Love you Nay!
Dig- Raging waters sounds like it was a blast man! Dad told me your car drawings are getting cooler by the day. I can't wait to get a couple in the package to check them out! Love you Dig!
Mom- Sounds like that lesson topic was a little tough. Haha. That's something we have to teach before baptism. It's usually pretty easy unless they have had problems with the law in the past or hate the government or something. We never ran into Marco and Beatriz again, but their neighbor liked the Plan of Salvation and we have another appt with him tonight. That's insane that McKenna is getting married! How am I so old? Love you Mom!

Thanks Katrina and Timmerie and Lincoln and Bam and Shay (I got your package by the way! Love it!) and everyone else who always sends me dear elders! They always help me stay focused on the importance of the work and remind me of what great examples you all are to me! I'm getting letters out to you all every chance I get! Love ya!

Love you all!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Monday, August 9, 2010

7 Months Already!

Thank you to all who continue to send him letters, packages, and DearElders.  I know he appreciates them so much!  We appreciate your love and support - he is doing great!

Hey fam!
This week has been pretty cool. We've found some new investigators that seem to be really prepared for the gospel, and there are quite a few that are already focusing on their baptisms. At the start of the week we had the first lesson with a new investigator named Gabriela. We taught her in the church with two members who are about her age. She actually asked us if we could teach her all the commandments first so she could start obeying them. We're pretty shocked at the progress she's made, and every time we see her she's ready to tell us all about the things she's learned from the Book of Mormon. It's awesome to see people like her that the Lord has prepared so well for the gospel.

So we decided to swing by Marco and Beatriz's house the other day because we haven't talked to them in a while. We talked for a few minutes with them and found out that three of the people in their family have birthdays in the first half of August. We set up an appointment to come by and share a message with them later on in the week. We decided we were going to surprise them with a birthday cake and a happy birthday song before the message. Just before the appointment we had with them we swung by a cake shop and grabbed them a big cake that said happy birthday, and we headed toward their house. We got there about ten minutes early and they hadn't arrived home yet so we decided just to wait for a minute. We talked a little about our current investigators and stuff while we were waiting. As we talked I looked at the time and noticed it was like fifteen or twenty minutes past the time of the appointment we had set. We were a little sad that they hadn't shown up. We decided we'd just leave and have to eat the cake on our own. Just as we were about to head out their next door neighbor came outside and started to talk to us. We found out that he's in Mexico for two years waiting for his papers to come through so he can go back to his wife and daughter in Oregon where he use to live. He said he misses them alot and that it's been pretty tough spending so much time without them. He started telling us about his work and showed us where he had to get screws in his leg when he broke his shin from an accident at work. Later he started to tell us about how his father recently died, and how he's just having a hard time all around with life. We told him a little about the Plan of Salvation and asked if we could share him a message about it and we set an appointment. It was another cool experience to see that even when we thought we had just lost almost a half hour waiting around for Marco and Beatriz to show up, we ended up being there just on time to help that guy who really needs the Savior right now in his life.

Yesterday in church I was sitting there in the congregation after the sacrament when I noticed one of the counsilors was mouthing something to me. I guess one of the speakers hadn't shown up and he was asking me if I could be the concluding speaker and talk on Faith. I know that's usually a common situation for missionaries but that was the first time it ever happened to me! I was scared out of my mind. But I hurried and found some good scriptures and it turned out ok.

Our zone has been doing pretty well lately compared to the rest of the mission so the President is letting us all go to a big buffet today for the last part of P day. It should be pretty sweet!

Anyway, thanks for everything family! Sorry this week wasn't as exciting as many others but there's definitely been alot of work in the area and we're seeing alot of changes in alot of peoples lives. It's Awesome. Love you all!

Mom- It sounds like you've had a pretty busy week. haha. I know that's not unusual. It's true what you were saying, spending your time serving a mission really is the greatest. We heard a talk in the MTC about the couple missionary responsibilities and they talked about a couple who sold their house when their children were all grown up and now they just serve mission after mission and live in the mission field. That's pretty sweet. Maybe someday in the future you and dad will get a call to Cambodia or something. Anyway, thanks for everything mom, Love ya!

Shash- I can't believe you're already going to mill hollow too! It seems like I just went to mill hollow yesterday. That's good your frogs are eating good. Keep feeding them those crickets. Maybe you could take one with you to mill hollow with you and let it ride around on your shoulder when you go on hikes and stuff! haha. Love ya Sloosh!

Dig- That's sweet that the school year is startin up for ya. You're going to love the junior high years. They're totally wicked! Thanks for keeping me updated on Pers. Keep playing with her and keeping her happy till I get home alrighty? Love ya diggy.

Denny- That's sweet that you got to go to a bees game. I hate watching baseball on tv but going to the games in real life is always super fun! That's too bad your yoyo kind of broke. It sounds like the trick to make it work is hard. haha. Love you denny o!

Dad- Thanks for the reminder and advice about taking every missionary opportunity. President Jesperson actually has a motto for the mission that is 24-7. He says that regardless of the time or place we should always be looking for those who are needing the gospel. Thanks for the reminder of the price paid to get the Book of Mormon here in our day. It's changing alot of lives down here. It was definitely written for our day. Love you dad!

Nay- I don't know how to spell fondue (or whatever) either. Haha. But I've always wanted to have it! Sounds like that was a pretty fun date. I liked what you said about Temples. It's awesome because some people here don't want to know anything about our message until they remember a time when they saw one of the temples and then they'll say something like "hey don't you guys have that big chapel downtown with the gold angel on top? I always want to go there, it just looks like a special place." Temples are sweet. Anyway. Love ya nay!

Love you all! have a good week!

Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hey Fam,

This week has been pretty crazy! We had a big conference Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday for all leaders and trainers in the mission. Me and Elder Garcia both had to go so his companion Elder Saguibo and my new companion Elder Ripley were working together for those three days in Elder Saguibo's area. That kind of stunk because we're really working on finding alot of solid new investigators but we had to put our area on hold for a few days and we ended up canceling alot of appointments. But now we're back in the area working and everything's going fine. The conference we went to was pretty sweet. We learned about teaching by the Spirit, giving commitments based on needs that will help build testimony, gaining the confidence of the people, and asking soul searching questions. We learned a ton of sweet stuff but I was glad when we finished. Elder Moberg (my old companion), Elder Jaen (our old roommate), and I sung a musical number at the conference too. It was pretty sweet. We sung Joseph Smith's first prayer, with a mixture of spanish and english and some parts sung to the tune of "If You Could Hie to Kolob" and "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." We're not the greatest singers in the world but it was pretty fun.
My companion and I have started teaching an American lady named Alondra that was going to church in the states for six years, but she never got baptized, and the missionaries never gave her a Book of Mormon! Crazy. But she's reading it now and she said she feels like it's exactly what she needs at this point in her life. We also started teaching this girl that stopped us on the street and said that she was looking for a new religion. She's got a ton of questions about the blessings that come from living the gospel and the importance of baptism. We'll be teaching her at the church with two other single adults so she can make some friends in the ward and get involved with all the activities and stuff.
Yesterday we were waiting for the bus to go to church and there was another guy that came over to the bus stop. My companion greeted him but didn't contact him or anything. I was sitting there thinking about the plans we had for the day and stuff when I started to wonder about how many people we run into every day and how many of them get past us without hearing anything about the message. I looked over at the guy who had walked up thinking I'd better contact him. The guy was sporting some pretty expensive athletic gear, and I thought to myself "well he's pretty wealthy, and I haven't really felt any promptings to talk to him, he probably wouldn't want anything to do with the gospel." That's when the Spirit gave me a little jab and reminded me how selfish and not Christlike I was being. So I contacted the man, and it turns out he use to talk to the missionaries, has a Book of Mormon, and the only reason he stopped talking to them was because he moved and never ended up getting in contact with the missionaries in his new area. He invited us to come over tomorrow night to have dinner and talk about the gospel. Pretty sweet, and lesson learned. We always need to talk to everybody!
I've had some people ask about the area we're in and the daily schedule lately. Yes I'm still in the same house that I arrived to when I got to Mexico, and it doesn't look like I'm leaving it for a little while. Haha. The area if you want to look on google earth where the house is, goes from the street San Jacinto until the street Malecon, and from the street Rio Nilo, until the street Javier Mina. Their all big main streets. But that's the area. As far as the schedule, it's a little different here because of the culture. We get up at seven in the morning, prepare and eat and everything, and then we study from eight thirty until eleven thirty, then head out to work. We eat at two in the afternoon, then keep working until nine forty five at night, when we come back home to plan and prepare for bed. We stay out later here because the majority of the city is still up pretty late, so it's not unusual to have appointments set at like nine in the night.
Anyway. Thanks for all your letters and support as usual! I love you all!
Slooshby: That's sweet that your frogs are still alive! What are their names? That sounds like a good choice on the jazz attitude name by the way, it matches your uniforms perfect! Love you Sloosh, have a good week!
Den: That new yoyo you're getting sounds sweet! How does it work? What's the trick? Sweet job on your back flips by the way. It sounds like you're having a sweet summer time. Love you denny o! Have a good week!
Dig: You went to mill hollow eh? Sweet, I remember those good old days. How was the food? What was your group leader guy like? Sounds like you developed a pretty sweet new drawing technique. You should send me some car drawings or something so I can check it out! Anyway. Love ya dig! Have a good week!
Dad: Thanks for your advice about blessings. I actually just taught a lesson about that yesterday with the recent converts we have that have the Aaronic Priesthood and are preparing for the Melchezedic. That's especially important as a missionary to always be worthy of the Spirit in those situations, because we never know who might help or how or when. Thanks for the advice. Thanks for the update on Arben also. Hopefully he can keep improving little by little without any complications. Thanks for everything Dad. I love you. Have a good week!
Mom: Thanks for letting me know about Trey! That's awesome! I can't believe he has dark hair! I can't wait to see some pictures of him. That's sweet that you're maybe going to be the new librarian at Farnsworth! haha. I remember that library. I use to always check out the same book about the comparisons between the football careers of Troy Aikman and Steve Young. Anyway. I sent the pictures of the play last week, did you not get them? I'll resend the last e mail just in case. Anyway. Thanks for everything mom. I love ya! have a good week!
Nay: You guys went to a circus in the Honk's parking lot? Sweet!! haha. There are tons of circuses here actually. They're all over the place and it makes me want to go to one real bad! We'll have to do that when I get back. Sounds like your youth conference was pretty sweet. You'll have to let me know how the tryouts for soccer turn out. Hopefully you guys find some pretty sweet new players. Love ya nay! Have a good week!
Love you all! Thanks for Everything!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Elder Aguilar is having fun!

Elder Aguilar & Elder Galindo
Acting out Lehi's Dream
Elder Aguilar (Angel) & Elder Moberg (Mist of Darkness)