Monday, February 28, 2011

Hey Fam!!!
How is everybody? This week has been good.
A little while back we contacted a couple in the street and asked if we could pass by their home later on to share them a message. They said yes, and gave us their address, and we agreed on a time to pass by. We went and searched their whole street (which is only about a hundred yards long) up and down a couple times, asking everyone we saw if they knew them, and we couldn't find them anywhere. Later we saw the husband in the street again, and he asked why we hadn't gone by. We explained that we had searched for their house, but that we hadn't found anything, so he explained that at the end of the street there's a little trail that goes higher up into the hill, and that he lives up there. We said we'd see if we could find them later on when we were in that area, but we sort of forgot. Then a couple weeks later, another companionship called us with a referral for that same family. So we went back and looked for their house again, and we finally found it, but they weren't home. We asked the neighbor when they were usually at home, and he said a saturday in the day time would be best. So last saturday we went there, and they were home. We talked with them and got to know them a little, and they let us know that they have a great desire to do the things that their Heavenly Father wants. We taught them about the Atonement, then the Restoration, then Baptism, and they accepted a baptismal date, and a challenge to come to church the next day. We told them we'd be by the next morning to pick them up for church. Sunday morning we arrived to find a note on their door that said "Elders, we don't have any money for the bus, so we left a couple hours early walking so we could arrive on time to church." It was pretty neat to see that they had such a desire to come to church, I just wish I would have made it more clear that a member was giving us a ride, and that they weren't going to have to pay for a bus, especially since they didn't end up finding the church. It was a little sad at the same time, because the church is way far from their house. They live out on the very edge of the city up in the hills, and their house is made of spare slats of wood and plastic. They're a happy family though, and it will be neat to see them progress in the gospel together.
This week I've been studying about Charity. It's definitely something I'm lacking. The things I've been able to learn and understand have really opened my eyes. I love the talk from President Monson I think in the last conference in the Relief Society session about charity, and the poor old man that was able to become friends with that family. It's helping me to look at the missionary work from a totally different angle, and I'm really trying to take advantage of any little opportunity I have to lift someone's spirits, or just help others feel the way their Heavenly Father sees them, as something truly wonderful. I love the scripture in Jude 1:22, It's really short, but it's pretty profound, and I've kept it in my head while we've been working. After all, "Faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God" are the things that qualify us for the missionary work.
Mom- There's a family in our ward that's going through some huge challenges, and the dad recently tried to kick one of his daughters out of the house because she's now eighteen. It reminded me of that time when you said I could live with you and dad until I'm an old man if I want to, because you love me. It made me even more thankful for being blessed with such great parents. Elder Aguilar 2 is getting things in order, and he called me the other day to let me know that I've recieved two packages, so I'd imagine that they're the two that you mentioned. About your questions, here's some answers: 1) No they weren't in my district, because Elder Flores was the other district leader. 2) That was a picture of most of the Elders that I got to know and worked with in my zone in Reforma when I was in Guadalajara. Thanks for letting me know about Chug! That's so sweet that he's heading out for his mission. I had wondered about how he was doing a couple times so it's great to hear he's heading out to the field. That's sweet that Nay's in the new era. It doesn't exist here, so I'll have to check it out when you send it. Love you Mom. Have a great week!
Den- You watched Jurassic Park man? I remember that show scaring me when I was like sixteen, I can't believe you didn't get scared! You must be tougher than me. haha. Love you denny o. Have a great week!
Shash- You got a new cage for Helga eh? Does she like it? How's Rhino doing? Love you Shash. Have a great week!
Nay- Wow, I'm not going to lie, I would be pretty impressed with myself if I could just do those things that you did for your audition. I bet you'll make it. You'll have to help me with my music skills when I get home so we can do some sweet performance in a ward talent show or something haha. That's pretty interesting about the lock down, were those guys students or just some random guys? Love you Nay. Have a great week!
Dig- Yes I remember the IP thing. I'm pretty sure I painted a fence for the Chantry's for my project. Then they moved and the new family there painted the fence a different color. Oh well. I haven't heard of that movie, or any others... haha. But sounds like it must have been pretty sweet, I'll have to check it out in about a year. haha. Love ya Dig. Have a great week!
Dad- That's sweet about the Sesame Street clip. haha. I don't remember watching plumbers die on that show but I guess as a little kid I wouldn't have really realized what was going on. Thanks for the reminder on the journal, I'll keep in mind what you said and try to add more things about my companionships. Well, Happy Early Birthday!!! haha. I've almost got that package together for your birthday, mom's birthday, and mothers day. I hope you'll like the stuff I got. Love ya Dad. Have a great week!
Love you all!!!
Elder Aguilar

Elder Walker & Elder Aguilar

Elder Cardona & Elder Aguilar
Jose Manuel's Baptism

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hooray for Jose Manuel!

Hey Fam!
So this week has gone pretty well. As for Jose Manuel... Not this last week but the week before, we started really working with him to get rid of the cigarrettes. We had him drink a horrible drink to get him to not like the taste of cigarrettes, we had him lower the amount he was smoking each day little by little, and of course, most importantly, we made sure he was reading the Book of Mormon, and growing in a testimony of the Savior. By the end of that week he was able to leave the cigarrettes behind 100%!!! It was sweet. Then we had the zone leaders come for the baptismal interview, and we found out there was another problem. The zone leader that did the interview found out about some things in his past, and felt he still had some repenting to do. We visited him every day this last week, teaching him about repentance, reading repentance stories from the scriptures, bearing our testimonies, and giving him words of encouragement. By the time Sunday came around, we had a talk with the zone leaders about his progress, and we determined that he was ready for his baptism. Sunday morning we swung by his house in a taxi, to find him standing in the doorway all dressed up, with his bag that contained his towell, flip flops, etc. We had a great time at church, with the spirit very strong in Sacrament meeting, and an awesome principles of the gospel class. In Elders Quorum, Jose Manuel answered almost all the questions about the Word of Wisdom. After church, we held the baptismal service, and my Companion Elder Cardona had the opportunity to baptise Jose Manuel. Everything went really well, and it was awesome to see him leave behind a troubled past.
As for the other people we've been teaching. We've recently recieved some pretty good references from the ward, and we're excited to start working with them. As for Alejandro and Yessica (the ones who slaughter and sell pigs), they recently had a big break up, which is really sad, because they have two kids, and they weren't married, and Yessica has nowhere to go and no way to take care of the kids. It was tough seeing the whole thing go down. We're going to keep trying to visit them, especially with a brother from the ward who was in a similar situation when he joined the church, and has a strong testimony of the fact that the Atonement can heal any family problems. We'll see how things go with them.
My comp is doing well. He's super good in the contacts. He has a way of gaining confidence quickly from the people, and has no fear. He participates alot in the lessons, and just has a good focus. He seems to really get the point of missionary work, and have a great desire to help others come unto Christ.
The other day we were knocking on doors and at one door a lady's voice said "who is it?" I said "The missionaries." She said "who?" I said "The missionaries." she said "who's knocking?" I said "The missionaries" She said "Who is it?" I said "your friends, the Elders," and we kept on a conversation sort of like that for a little bit, when we finally realized I was talking to a parrot. We laughed, and went on to the next door. I seem to remember something like that happening once before on the mission but I can't remember.
Dad- Thanks for that talk from President Benson. I'll be keeping that one in mind while proselyting. I think it goes along with the one from Richard G. Scott from last conference that said "You become what you want to be, by being what you want to become." Or something like that. If I want to reflect all the great things that the Lord has blessed me with to prepare me for a mission in the past, and become the missionary Heavenly Father wants me to be, I can start by just being that missionary... haha. Wade told the Eddie Mazer move story huh? haha. That's a sweet one. Looking back, I kind of wish I would have tried it in a match. Love ya dad. Have a great week!
Nay- That's sweet that you'll get to bear your testimony in the stake thing! Let me know how it goes. When do you find out all the results from your try outs? Ya know just a side note, you've been with that sam guy for a while now, and I still don't even know him... You might think about taking a break for a little till I can meet him and give my approval. Haha. Just kidding. But really you have been together for a while... Love ya Nay. Have a great week!
Dig- Sheesh man you got to give yourself some more credit in wrestling! I would have given anything to wrestle in one varsity match my whole career, and I never got to. You're already doing good dig. Just cause your starting out your career and still not the perfect wrestler is no reason to be bummed man! You really are going to be a beast next year! and an even larger beast the years after! You'll be state champ by the end! But only if you take advantage of the trials you're having right now, so you can grow to be that state champ wrestler. Just imagine if thomas edison would've had that attitude about the light bulb. We'd all be in the dark right now! haha. Jk. But seriously man don't stress, just do your best and have a blast. I'd give anything to be able to wrestle right now. Its fun! haha. Love ya dig. Have a great week!
Den- That's sweet about the Monster truck show man! Sounds like it was a blast! Love ya denny o. Have a great week!
Mom- The mail still isn't getting here, maybe one day. haha. Thanks for keeping me updated on the fam. Hearing about all the little stuff is always awesome. Those are the best memories I have. The pictures will be coming next week, for sure this time!!! My comp needs me to help him send pictures to his fam too so we have to bring the camera next time. I miss ya. Love you Mom. Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another New Companion but No Mail

Hey Fam!
How is everybody? I've been doing alright. So we had changes. This is my third companion in this area and I've only been here for two changes! Sheesh. Pretty crazy, but it's cool. I'm really excited to be training again and my new companion Elder Cardona is a pretty sweet missionary. He's from very near where we're at right now. I actually just found out that he's got a friend from back home that has a lot of family members here in Uruapan, and they'll be sending us their address etc. so we can go teach them the gospel! that's great. Especially considering that just this morning we found out that Armando moved to a rehabilitation center in a  different city, and so we won't be able to teach him anymore. It's going to be good for him though because he really needs the help. This week has gone pretty well other than that. Jose Manuel is really excited for his baptism coming up this sunday, and we've been doing all kinds of crazy things to try to make sure that he doesn't smoke this week at all. We'll be visiting him daily to help him out and give that support he'll need.
This last week went really well. We found alot of new investigators that look to have alot of potential. One of them has a carnitas (pork tacos) stand, and he showed us how he kills the pigs and butchers them a couple days before the weekend to get everything ready for his big sale days. He kills two full grown swine for each weekend. That's a ton of meat! He's also very excited about the gospel, and has loved reading the Book of Mormon. He's found a lot of answers to questions he's had throughout his life while reading.
This week we'll have the conferences for leaders in Michoacan in the city of Zamora with the Mission President. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out in the area. We'll be missing a total of two and a half days in the area this week. It stinks. But oh well. It'll be especially interesting, because elder Petersen, from the other companiionship that lives with us will also have to go to the meeting and he's also training, so our new greenies will be working alone for their third and fourth days in the field! Just kidding I bet they'll stick them with a different companionship for the days we're gone.
Well anyway, not too much else has happened this week. Sunday we did have the biggest meal I've eaten since I got here, which consisted of a pre meal dish, two entrees, and desert. It was sweet. But other than that, not much happened this week. Next week I should have some good stories of working with the new comp.
Mom- Thanks for that e mail from Alex. It's sweet to hear about another missionary's experiences. Thanks for letting me know about Brother Stone. I'll miss him. I'll be praying for his family. I haven't really been able to take alot of pictures because there's actually a rule that we can't take pictures during proselyting time, and that's when I see all the cool stuff and where the best pictures would come from. Seeing as how our P days used to be an hour and a half shorter than normal, we never had time to go take pictures on monday either. But they changed that rule so I should have some time for picture stuff soon. Thanks for the advice about bus rides. I'll try it this thursday for the conference we're going to. I have been eating well here, but the schedule is just kind of weird. I eat a big breakfast early in the morning, then I don't eat anything until two o clock in the afternoon, then I eat a big dinner at like ten at night., My body is way more accustomed to eating small meals all day long, so I think that's why I'm sarting to feel sick alot. It was easier to eat throughout the day in Guadalajara, but it's just not easy to fit in here. I haven't lost or gained any weight though so I'm sure I'm fine. I'll be waiting for that dear elder about that talk. There's been a mystery problem with my mail for a while. I think the Zone Leaders have been losing it.  I actually hadn't recieved a dear elder from anyone since the middle of december, and I just recently got one from bam, one from tanner, one from taylor, and one from Aunt Katie. But those are the only ones I've recieved the past two months, I don't know if any more than that were sent, but now Elder Aguilar 2 is the secretary in charge of the mail, so he's going to call me to let me know of everything that comes in for me so the Zone Leaders don't lose it. haha. I didn't get bam's package yet, but I just got the Christmas package from the Meiers which was awesome! Let them know I said thanks please. And I got a card from the Khangs with 300 pesos (30 bucks) haha, which was super nice of them, if you could let them know I said thanks too. And also a thanks to the Jordan North 1st ward Primary for the sweet pillow case and the awesome letters! Let Luke Wamsley know the toilets flush the same way here by the way. haha. Love you Mom, Have a great week!
Den- Sweet job on Piano man! Sounds like that international night was sweet too. haha. Love you Den, have a grreat week!
Shash- Sweet Science fair project! Love ya!
Nay- That stinks about all the college stuff, but it'll be over soon at least. haha. I'll be waiting on the letter! I'm sending a package home soon for a combo present to mom and dad for mother's day and their birthdays, and I'll write a letter to each of you with it too. Love you Nay, have a great week!
Dig- Sounds like you've got some sweet stuff coming up for wrestling man! I started in eighth grade, as second JV. haha. I wish I could have done it like you and started as varsity in seventh grade, because by the end of the six years of wrestling all tough matches like that I would've probably got a scholarship to a wrestling school haha. One of the best wrestlers I ever knew was Alex Eliason. He was the varsity for one of the hardest weights, and he didn't win alot, but that's why he was the best! The guys who have it easy never grow. Just be thankful for the tough matches you have now dig, it'll pay off in the future! Love ya Dig, have a great week!
Dad- Thanks for that letter of encouragement. I remember when I use to understand everything about life... then I came on the mission and found out I was wrong. haha. That's not a negative statement, I'm thankful for what I'm learning. Love ya dad, have a great week!
Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Monday, February 14, 2011

13 Months!

Hey Fam!
Sorry I can't write a full e mail right now, but we'll have time to write tomorrow. We had changes in our companionship, today was the end of the transfer. Elder Walker left, and I came to Guadalajara to recieve my new greeny! I'll write tomorrow at around ten in the morning I think!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hey Fam!
How is everybody? I'm doing well. This week has been pretty good. We had some good experiences.
We've got a couple new investigators that are pretty awesome. One (Armando) is really struggling from alcoholism, but he has a broken heart and a contrite spirit and really wants to change, so it'll be neat to watch him as he's healed through the Atonement of Christ. The other new investigator (Eliseo), was actually baptized like thirty years ago, but never confirmed, and he never went back to church either. But he's got some pretty serious family problems right now and is looking for some help from the Lord to help his daughter raise his granddaughter a little better. He's an artist, and makes some pretty sweet stuff. Everything he makes is one of a kind, and he sells them to vendors who then sell them in souvenir shops. It's actually a pretty cool job, and he's been very wealthy from it in the past, but right now work is hurting a little. He promised us that he was going to come to church on Sunday, but he didn't show up, so after the sacrament I grabbed one of the priests and we took a taxi to Eliseo's house to bring him to church. When he opened the door he looked pretty surprised to see us, and I just asked how he was. He then begun to explain to me that he couldn't go to church because he had a big order for some plates he had made that were just drying from their paint job, and he had to get them to the vendor ASAP. Then he started going on about how he has faith but his family has to eat, and he can't just sacrifice everything like that to come to church, and said that it was all just too much. I asked him how long it would take for the paint to dry, and he said about forty minutes. I told him we'd have him back home before then. He said ok so we took off to the church. It was fast and testimony meeting, and the testimonies that were born seemed to be exactly what Eliseo needed to hear. He was really paying attention to what everyone was saying and seemed to be pretty comfortable there. After the service he talked to us and said that he knows alot of people that were there at church, and knows that they go through trials just like everyone else, but that for some reason they all just seem to have a great peace about them, and a light in their eyes, and made the comment that that's what he wants in his life right now. It was a pretty neat experience.

Elder Walker played the piano in church. He went up to start playing after the congregation had already begun to sing. He began to play, only to find that we had all started on a different note than what the song normally begins on. He picked out the note we were on, and just started playing the song in a different note. I was pretty impressed. Especially because he started to learn piano a year ago. I guess that's why he's going to major in music.

On Friday we went to a conference for district leaders and it was super sweet. President Jespersen taught us a ton of sweet stuff about faith, and told us some sweet stories about his mission. I loved what we learned and we had a good time. But I got car sick on the bus as usual.

Mom- I am working on overcoming the natural man, and I read a talk by Elder Holland recently from back when he was the President of byu, called The Inconvenient Messiah, and it helped me alot. I highly recommend it. That was an interesting story about Fui. That'll be a good one to tell in the future, especially when he sees that part of New York on movies and stuff. Thanks for letting me know about the mail stuff. I'm sending letters to the grandparents for the birthdays of Bam and Gram and to say thanks to Grandpa Dennis for the Christmas contribution etc. I'm also sending a little note to Bam that I wrote a long time ago and found today, so it's like a year late. Thanks for everything Mom, I love you, have a great week!

Dad- Thanks for the clip from the ensign. That's some pretty good advice, and it'll definitely help me out. I just need to keep losing myself in the work and finding joy in the journey. Thanks Dad. Love ya, have a great week!

Dig- Sweet job on your pin Dig-man! Sounds like that was super sweet. And that's awesome that you're varsity now, especially cause by the time your in ninth grade you'll be super pro! Love ya Dig, have a great week!

Shash- What did you do for your science project? I want to hear all about it ok? I sure love ya Sloosh, have a great week!

Nay- That would be so sweet if you and your friends got on to Ellen! haha. That's cool that you took that tour of Utah State. My comp use to live there, and go there. He liked it alot. How's school and stuff going? Love ya Nay, have a great week!

Den- Sweet job on your B ball game Denny o! Sounds like you're pro material, just keep practicing. It's like my Mission President says- If we all practiced the piano every day our whole lives, we'd all be really good at piano, and it's the same with everything else. haha. Sounds like the Superbowl was pretty sweet. Love you Den, have a great week!
Love you all!
Elder Aguilar