Friday, April 29, 2011

Making life-long friends!

Here is an email from Elder Ricks serving in the same mission as Dallas that his mom forwarded to us...

"...We are now the biggest zone in the mission, with 11 companionships and the farthest area away is 6 hours from here... YEEESH. Elder Aguilar is leaving us. He is going to Zamora as a zone leader. Wooo. But I'm wayyyy sad. I love him! I will still see him around though! We made fudge! Haha. I have to go! LOVE YOU ALL!! Love Elder Ricks"

Sister Ricks said she just wanted to let us know how much Elder Ricks will miss him. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

We are so proud of him!

Dear Fam,

Sorry but I don't have time to write almost anything today. I got a call from the zone leaders earlier today while we were helping Elder Sargent paint his house. I have transfers to the city of Zamora as a Zone Leader, and I have to be at the bus station soon. I haven't had time to read any e mails either but it'll probably all have to wait till next week.

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

P.S. Just a side note, Elder Moberg called me this morning and let me know that Petronilo got baptized! and that all the converts from Jardines are doing well, and all but two are still at church every sunday, giving talks in sacrament, and most have callings. Awesome!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hey Fam!

How is everyone? I'm doing well. This week has been fine. Nothing has changed much in the progress of the area or the investigators. Angel came to a baptismal service that the zone leaders held on Saturday, so hopefully that will rekindle a little of what he's felt as he was learning about the gospel. I don't remember if I've mentioned anything about Pablo before. He's a nineteen year old that started reading the Book of Mormon after we had taught his mom and left her a copy of it. Later on he got a hold of us and asked if we could come teach him. When we taught him, he expressed his desire to come unto Christ, and his excitement in learning that there was another testament of Jesus Christ. He's continued to grow in testimony and desire, but has had a really hard time making it to church, and that's keeping him from getting baptized. His parents are going through a divorce right now and he's been moving back and forth trying to figure out where his home is going to be in the future, and he's been trying to decide on a future career. I guess with all of that combined it makes it difficult for him sometimes to get everything done that he wants to do. He has a firm desire to get baptized, but until he can get his situation sorted out and start coming to church he'll just have to wait.

This week we had a few funny experiences. We were teaching a lady on her doorstep when a crazy man came up and started asking us a million questions about America and about how old we are and how tall we are and a bunch of weird stuff. He was a pretty funny guy so we were laughing pretty hard. All of a sudden another crazy guy walked out onto his balcony across the street and started to shoot rocks at us out of his sling shot. The lady explained that he's her uncle and that he's under special watch because he's a little unstable and hostile. It was all pretty crazy. We also had a close encounter with a flying cocroach while at a food appointment. This week has also had some very spiritual experiences in it. All in all it just seems like the Lord is trying to wake me up a little. I feel like there's something that needs to be re lit inside of me. Some sort of desire or feeling that I haven't felt for a while. I don't know. This work is just complicated, but at the same time super super simple. It's hard sometimes to do all the things, but not do to much at the same time, and get distracted from my purpose as a missionary. I'll just have to keep pressing forward and try to focus on faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God.

Mom- Thanks for that dearelder about the General conference. Your comments about the story of the prospectors really helped me. Lately I've been getting the mail pretty quickly because there's been alot of travel between here and Guadalajara, so that's been cool, but I don't know how much longer that will last. About the pictures. We're not supposed to take pictures while proselyting, so there's not really any opportunities to take pictures of the things I do every day, but I'll see if I can set some time aside on P days to go take more pictures, because it's definitely something I'll be thankful for in the future. I am eating well by the way. haha. Thanks for asking. I'm still not gaining any weight though. I actually think I've lost a little, but it's definitely not from a lack of food. I think it's just from excercise and being in the heat all day. Anyway, I love you, Have a great week!

Shash- That's a little scary about what happened with Rhino. I hope he starts getting better with that medicine. I love you, Have a great week!

Den- That's sweet that you're tearing it up in kickball man! Sweet job! I love you, Have a great week!

Dad- Thanks for sharing the experience at Martin's Cove. I've never been there but it'd be sweet to go check it out someday. Thanks for letting me know about grandpa Ellis also. I'll keep him in my prayers. I love you, Have a great week!

Dig- That's sweet that you're undefeated man. Keep givin it your all in every game. haha. Enjoy your break from school too. I love you, Have a great week!

Nay- Hope you're enjoying Florida! Haha. We're super going back there sometime after I'm home. :) I love you, Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Monday, April 11, 2011

15 Months!

Hey Fam!!!

How is everyone? This week has been...interesting. It seems like since I got to Uruapan I've only seen trial after trial after trial. It's surely been the most difficult thing that I've ever had to do, but I wouldn't miss it for anything. This week I've been focused on what I can learn from the things that have been going on, what I need to change and improve, and I've been thinking alot about Joseph B. Wirthlin's talk of "Come what may and love it."

We've done what we can to find Carina, but our efforts have yielded no fruits. We've been talking to her neighbors who are members of the church to see if they've seen her or anything, but from what we can see, she really just got married and took off. The saddest part is that we found out that the guy she married has served time in prison, and currently struggles with alcohol and maybe drug problems. I don't know why she would just be seeking out more problems in her already difficult life, but oh well. Maybe somewhere down the road she'll remember what she learned from the scriptures and the Spirit, and decide to make some changes.

On Friday, we were with an investigator named Angel. He's been reading his Book of Mormon alot, and even told us about how he took a trip to a huge museum in Mexico City last week and was just imagining all the great stories that are behind the artifacts in the museum, and how they tie in with his ancestors and the stories he's read in the Book of Mormon. He decided that he was ready for baptism, so we began to plan his baptismal service. We had it all planned out for this Tuesday (tomorrow) in the morning, when suddenly in the middle of the discussion he just decided he no longer wanted to be baptized. We talked to him for a little while and there seemed to be no outstanding reason for him to not be baptized, but as I've been thinking about things and what he was saying, I think he just felt rushed. We all know that it's never too soon to follow the example of Jesus Christ, but he might have just felt a little uncomfortable. He wished us luck in our search and with our preaching, and asked if we could let him know when the next zone baptism will be so he can come see it. Maybe then he'll feel that "prick" in his heart that it talks to us about in the scriptures, and decide to act upon it.

The companionship has been doing great. I've been learning to be more charitable, patient, and accepting with my comp, and I've seen him grow as he feels that extra confidence that comes when someone trusts in you. His teaching skills are really improving, and he's not so afraid of the people anymore.

This Saturday and Sunday Elder Jaen came to our house again to work with Elder Petersen and his companion on Saturday then come to church with us. He bought us all pizza because it was his nineteen month mark in the mission, then we had a crazy ninja strike match, that turned into more of a smack down at the end. It was pretty cool. Elder Jaen has always been really good at helping other missionaries to stay happy and excited to work.  Anyway, that's all for this week.

Dig- Sounds like that brunch was sweet man, I would love some chinese food and a chocolate fountain. haha. Love ya! Have a great week!

Nay- That story about the dance sounds hilarious. I'm sure most people had no idea that something had gone wrong. That's funny though. Have fun in Florida this week! Love ya!

Den- Dude I was a kickball captain too! I think we had the best team but we took second place. Oh well. haha. Love ya! Have a great week!

Mom- I didn't know uncle Jud was denny's teacher and stuff, and I never knew that Chuck is a seminary teacher! Sweet. That'd be an awesome job. Sounds like the full house weekend was a blast. Could you let Bam and Gram know I got both their e mails? and could you let Timmerie know that I did get her letter in Spanish, and it was impressive. Pretty good spanish letter writing skills. Thanks for keeping me updated on the fam. By the way, I would love some pics of the fam in the next package if at all possible. Thanks! Love ya! Have a great week!

Shash- Sounds like you had a pretty fun weekend Sloosh! I miss ya. Love ya! Have a great week!

Dad- I appreciated your comments about Grandpa Ellis for their anniversary, he continues to set a good standard for the rest of the fam. He leads a lifestyle that deserves much respect from us as well as trust from the Lord. Sweet. Love ya! Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Monday, April 4, 2011

"For All Intents of Purposes, Dallas practically talked in General Conference!" (Sons of Provo)

Hey Fam! How is everybody? I'm doing well. This week was great. Alot of learning took place. We had a conference with a couple of other zones on Thursday, and we learned a ton there, and I got to talk to President a little bit one on one which is always super helpful.

Because of the conference on Thursday and the General conference, we didn't have as much time for appointments and stuff, but it was still probably one of the more successful weeks I've seen in my mission so far, as far as seeing our investigators progress. On Friday I woke up super full of energy and just thinking of how great the day was going to be. We had eight appointments that day with investigators who are already in teaching, and six of those appointments were with people who have baptismal dates. Woo hoo! So I had a way sweet study time, and was just stoked to leave the house and get to work. The first appointment wasn't home, bummer. The second appointment was and that lesson went well. Then the next SIX appointments weren't home! It made for a long contacting experience, and almost all the people we contacted were negative and even rude. One man even insulted my clothing, little does he know, missionaries do not care about clothing. Anyway, I just kept repeating to myself "This is the best day ever" over and over again in my head, and kept imagining a family all dressed in baptismal clothing. Towards the very end of the day, we had about an hour before our last appointment, and I thought of two investigators (Jaquelin and Hector) that live clear on the other side of the city on the same street that we hadn't seen in a little, and wondered if we'd have time to make it over to see them. I decided just to go, so we started walking at super missionary speed, and on the way we saw Hector in the street! and he asked if we could pass by his house in like a half hour, we said sure, little did he know that was already our plan. Then we headed to Jaquelin's house, and she was also home, and we found out she's been reading alot in her Book of Mormon. Both the lessons with them went well. Then we made it back to the other side of the city just in time for the last appointment with Carina, who introduced us to our neighbor, who is now also interested in learning about the gospel. Sweet. Best day ever.

On Saturday we had Carina at the church for her baptism. Part way through the conference her mom called (she's like in her late twenties but her mom still seems to have a lot of influence-impact with her), and started threatening her a little or something about not taking good care of her daughter, and she got way stressed out and decided she had to get home quickly to make sure her daughter was ok etc. We had the font full and everything ready, she just needed her interview, but insisted that she didn't have time. I didn't try to convince her to get baptized in the moment, and we decided she could be baptized on sunday, which was a big mistake, because saturday night her brother was assaulted and ended up in the hospital, and she didn't end up getting baptized. We'll see how it goes for this week, but lesson surely learned, never delay anyone's baptism. Satan doesn't deserve the extra time to try to throw things in the way of the people's progress.

Angel, Carina, Jaquelin, and a couple other investigators were all able to make it to the conference, so that was sweet. The conference was great. Benjamin De Hoyos spoke (I think on Sunday), which was crazy, because one time I had to call him on the phone so he could come do a special baptismal interview. So I talked to him on the phone, then he talked in conference. For all intents of purposes I've practically talked in conference. haha. Just kidding.

Anyway. That was this week.

Dad- Thanks for that council about council. It really is a much better way to look at it. That's cool you got to go to the Wamsley's for ice cream. I miss those days. Love you, Have a great week!

Den- Sounds like that goal was sweet man. That's cool about the dog you guys found too. haha. Love you, Have a great week!

Shash- Sorry about Helga sloosh. That's good she got to have such a great person taking care of her in this life! I bet you helpéd her alot to be happy. Love you, Have a great week!

Mom- Conference was great. I really liked the talk by Lynn G. Robbins too, it was powerful. By the way I can't remember many flaws in your parenting. haha. I love you mom. That's funny what Elder Rick's mom said about the zone. haha. It is looking pretty good though, and President has some high expectations from us. Could you let Gram know as well that she can e mail me. haha. Love you, Have a great week!

Dig- The priesthood session was awesome huh! I recommend studying Pres. Uchtdorf's talk and Pres. Monson's talk (their pretty related) from priesthood when the ensign comes out, because those are principles that will help you a ton in the mission if you can really come to understand them early on. Sweet. Love you, Have a great week!

Nay- All that college stuff sounds stressful. haha. At least when I get to that point in my life you'll already have the experience and you'll be able to help me out. haha. Just make sure your living situation helps you progress in your education and in the gospel. That's a sweet lesson what dad talked about to you and shash. That's something I've learned alot about out here. Love you, Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar