How is everybody?
This week has been great. We had a little bit of a tough time with the christmas stuff going on, because nobody wanted to make time for appointments on the weekend, which is understandable, they all had family get togethers. But we did the best we could to take advantage of the holiday season to find more people.
On Tuesday we left on a bus early in the morning to go to the big christmas thing in Guadalajara. On the way there I had the opportunity to talk with a few missionaries I knew from the MTC and earlier on in the mission which was pretty cool. We arrived to the President's house at about noon and had strawberry cream waffles for breakfast, then did a gift exchange, and then had a piñata. The whole thing was pretty sweet because I haven't had waffles in forever, and it was just fun to be there and feel the christmas spirit and stuff. Elder Peterson, Elder Sanchez (who live in the house with us), and I forgot to get gifts the P day before the activity so we had to just throw something together with what we had at the house. Elder Sanchez and I each wrapped up a hot chocolate mug and filled it with candy, and elder peterson just wrapped some kool aid packs and a couple batteries(to give it a little weight) in wrapping paper. At the gift exchange the President put two extra gifts into the pile for a little better variety, which also meant that two gifts were going to be left over at the end. The two left over were mine and Elder Peterson's. We found out later that those two were set aside for Elder Moberg and Elder Jaen. Kind of stinks for them.
After the Christmas thing we got to go to the temple. It was so great to get to go, since it's been like a year since I've had the opportunity. It was especially neat to go through in Spanish. I took alot of pictures at the temple with some other Elder's I've been able to serve with in the field.
On Christmas eve, the other companionship in the house, Elder Briceño, and I went out caroling and contacting. We went to a super wealthy neighborhood first, but not many people were home, so we tried it at a department store, but they told us we couldn't sing there, then we went to the park in the city center and sang and contacted there. It was pretty cool. Christmas day we got to call the fam which was the sweetest! We were supposed to work for a couple hours in the night but my comp got stung by a bee or something on his upper lip and I think he might be alergic or something because his lip was huge! He wouldn't let me take any pictures of it though. The next day we went to church, and afterword went to a few appointments. We spent quite a bit of time looking for new investigators in the evening Sunday, and we ended up finding a couple families who had talked to missionaries in the past who want us to come back.
There's a sister in our ward who's the only member in her family, out of all her kids and grandkids and everything. One of her grandsons, Jose Francisco Navarro Nieto (or Pancho for short) has wanted to be baptized for a while, but his parents never let him. They finally gave him permission, and he was baptized saturday the 18th. I had the opportunity to baptize him, and it was pretty neat to see him set the example for his parents and siblings. Yesterday (a week after his confirmation), his older brother let us know he wants to be baptized as well, and is just praying about what day he wants it to be. Sweet. They're a great family.
On Christmas eve we visited Maria de la Luz, one of our recent converts. Their family had killed a pig for Christmas, and her husband was explaining to us the tradicional way to prepare it, using all parts of the pig. It was pretty interesting, and the bowl of fried pig skins and onions they gave me was pretty good. Definitely a flavor I hadn't experienced before.
I still haven't sent the picture from Maria de la Luz's baptism because it's on my comp's camera and he keeps forgetting to bring the cable to download it. But I sent the pictures from the temple trip, Pancho's baptism, and me on christmas eve with my tree, and Christmas morning with my presents.
Love you all! Thanks for everything! have a great week!
|Pancho's Family, Elder Aguilar & Elder Briceno|
|Elder Aguilar at Guadalajara Temple|
|Guadalajara Temple - Christmas Trip|
|Elder Jaen, Elder Aguilar, Elder Moberg|
|Dallas with missionary friends at the Guadalajara Temple|
|It must be Christmastime - they're all wearing red ties|
|Elder Aguilar's first Christmas Eve in the mission field! (Thanks Bam!)|
|Christmas morning - opening gifts from the fam|
We got to talk to him today - SOOOOOOO GREAT!!!
Hey fam how is everyone?!
I guess you didn't get my e mail last week? I think it might have been from all the pictures I had attached. I'm resending it with the pictures in a smaller format, so hopefully you'll get it this time!
Well this week has been good. We had decent success, just the last half of the week went a little slow due to the new years festivities! The party here starts on the thirty first at like noon and goes until the second at like six in the morning. Crazy. Yesterday it was like the whole city turned into a ghost town because everyone was sleeping to make up for their three day sleepless parties. That had quite an affect on the amount of investigators we had in church, which was kind of a bummer, but oh well, it's all over now.
This week we had a pretty crazy experience in the street. We were walking to an appointment down by the city center, and this older, kind of rough looking guy standing in the doorway of his house called over to us and waved for us to come talk to him. I was a little reluctant at first because we were already on our way to an appointment, and usually when people call us over it's because they want to argue about the bible or something (which we don't do). But we decided to go over just to see if there was something we could help him with. When we got over there he said "so how many baptisms have you had?" At this point I thought "oh great, he's gonna be some internet researcher guy who thinks all churches are a conspiracy to make money or something." We told him that we don't really count. He said he had recently seen a program on television about "Mormon Missionaries." I thought at that point that it must have been a program from some anti group against the church, but then he went on to say "It's about these missionaries in Holland that are working super hard, and one of them is about to go home and he's never had a single baptism. One day he even passes out like sixty copies of the Book of Mormon, and finally right before he goes home he gets a baptism. I think one of the missionaries was named Elder Callhoun." We laughed and said "oh yeah that's a movie called The Best Two Years." He later let us know that he was baptized in the 1970's and never went back to church, but he's read the Book of Mormon a ton! He started talking to us about how we should follow the example of Ammon, and serve the people first, and have charity for them, and always be worthy of the Spirit, so that we can baptize a whole city like he did. Then he began to share a very strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the way the Savior worked through him to reestablish His true church and authority on the earth once again. It was cool to talk to him, and after we told him that he had to start coming to church again. It was a pretty cool experience.
Well yesterday we got a call from the Zone Leaders, and we had changes. Elder Briceño left this morning for Zamora, and I'm with the companionship that lives with us for a couple days while my new greeny arrives! I'm going to get to train an American again, and I'm pretty excited! It was kind of sad to see Elder Briceño go so soon though, because he's a super missionary.
Well that's a little about my past week. Love you all! have a great week!
Nay- Happy late birthday! I super forgot to mention that in my last e mail and on the phone! I hope it went well! Hey where did Eric Martinez go on his mission? That's awesome you had such a sweet Christmas. Sure love ya Nay! have a great week!
Dad- Thanks for those parts of your talk, that really was awesome to read about. It sounds like Garth was a pretty sweet dude. That quote from Pres. Uchtdorf is awesome too! I've been applying it in the contacts especially! Love ya dad! have a great week!
Mom- Thanks for sending me gramps address! I'll be sending him a letter soon and some letters to all of you too! Thanks for letting me know about the news in the fam too so I can keep everyone in my prayers that's going through tough times. I sure love you mom! Thanks for all your love and support! Have a great week!
Dig- Sounds like your Christmas was sweet man! Now back to school... Oh well. Love ya! Have a great week!
Den- Hope you've had a great New years and all denny o! Love ya! Have a Great week!
Shash- It was great to talk to ya on the phone! Miss ya sloosh! Love ya! Have a great week!
Christian- I just wanted to say thanks for the CDs because they're awesome! They're really the greatest to recieve because I loved hearing everybody's voices. It was awesome to hear more about your mission experiences too. Thanks for that! I'll be keeping you in mind with my fasting and prayer, and I'm sure my mom will keep me updated on how your doing. I'm sure everything will turn out ok! Thanks for your support and example! Have a great week!
Love you all!