Hoo Rah!

Hey-o. Welcome to m' mission blog. If you're interested in keeping in touch with me via mail, check out my address(es) on the right side of the page. If you're too lazy to do that, go ahead and read the posts below. Hoo-rah!

Monday, May 28, 2012

5.28.12 Obregon

Happy Memorial Day. It doesn´t exist here, but I do enjoy celebrating anything that has to do with patriotism with E. Carlson--here´s a picture of him explaining how the U.S. would have destroyed Russia if anything had happened in the Cold War to all the Mexican elders in the few minutes we had before district leader meeting started.

And does anyone know about the place Smash Burger? Here´s the Mexican rip off. When Mexicans say words that start with "s," they say it as if they put an "e" in front. So Joseph Smith is commonly pronounced like "José E-smith."

Here´s the massive hot dog from last week, with a "normal" Sonoran hot dog at it´s left.

Some people from the water company came this week and "kindly" installed a new water meter for us. Unfortunately, they installed it wrong, so we didn´t have water for a few days. I hope they´re fixing it right now. Here we are in the tiny park in the front of the house "borrowing" water to bathe with. The downside is that the bucket is tiny and we have to go out to fill it up every time we want to do ANYthing that has to do with water.

In other news (or the most important news)--last week, we went up to a young man in Church that we´ve been teaching for a little while. He´s been coming to Church off and on for a few months, but when we started teaching him, he really started doing more. We invited him to baptism 2 weeks ago for the 26th of May, and he accepted. But E. Mooney and I felt that we might have been pressuring him--and we obviously didn´t want to do so. Anyway, when we went up to him on Sunday, we asked him last Sunday, "How do you feel about the 26th?" We asked him straight out if he felt rushed or anything. He just looked at us and said, "No, I feel good about it. I already invited my Mom and I feel ready." We just sat there and I thought, "Wow. Well, that´s cool."
We cleared up all his doubts and questions in the week, and got everything ready for the weekend. He asked me to baptize him, and we´ve got the Young Men working with us to keep strengthening his testimony. His Mom was very supportive, and says she wants to be more serious when it comes to teaching her as well as her son, since she just used to say she couldn´t listen because of being so tired at night. But she felt the Spirit in the service, that´s for sure.
When he came up out of the water, he looked at me and asked, "That´s it?" "Yeah, that´s it." "Wow." Yeah. The act is quick, but the effects are a bit longer lasting.
The ward is helping us out a lot. I am so thankful for that. Especially since it´s getting hotter.

Elder Humbert

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5.21.12 Obregon


Teaching is awesome. I`m getting better, even if I haven´t reached a super high level yet--I improved a lot with E. Olguin. That guy, honestly, is one of the best teachers I have ever seen in my life--better than most adults. He knew how to put himself into other people´s shoes. I`m using what I learned with him now.

The zone is okay. E. Valdez and E. Ruiz baptized this week and I was fortunate enough to be able to conduct the interview. It was incredible. Some of the most spiritual experiences I´ve had in the mission have been interviews. The Spirit is so strong there--but the responsibility as well--the person that got baptized is a true convert.

E. Mooney is also great. This is his last transfer (today was transfers--we´re staying), and he wants to finish strong. I want to help him do so as well.

One of my converts from Huatabampo went to the temple last week to do baptisms for the dead. E. Beeston, currently in my first zone (he was actually in Satélite with E. Cancino a transfer before I got there) tells me that one of my converts there is possibly going to be sealed in the temple soon. Awesome. Let´s see what happens.

Also, I want to write two stories related to your one last week--in Huatabampo, E. Olguin and I were teaching a 10-year-old that we had invited to the Church. He went every week, without our help, whether finding a ride with a member or riding his little bicycle all the way to the chapel. We met with his parents, taught them (this is actually the little family I wrote about a month or so ago--the dad whose expression changed in the lesson), and all was going well. They gave him permission to be baptized a month ago, and has kept going to Church. E. Olguin told me that they were in a lesson and he said the closing prayer--he prayed that the Lord would help his parents go to Church and make the decision of becoming baptized as well. Apparently the parents immediately softened, even more, after that.

We are also teaching a 13-year-old here. We found her through a sister who constantly has the neighborhood kids telling her that they want her to teach them. We don`t normally dedicate ourselves to teaching kids, since it´s so easy for them to go inactive without parent support, but she´s a bit more responsable than normal kids her age. She can´t go to school because she has to help her Mom wash the clothes, make food for her little brothers, and take care of them when her parents aren´t at work. She works as well. Child labor laws don´t exist (or at least aren´t enforced) here. She´s like a second mom to her brothers and sisters. But she loves to learn. We taught her how to pray, and she went out to teach all of her friends. She says at least one every lesson. She can´t go to school, but she´s making the effort to learn anyway. We just need to meet the parents as soon as possible.

In other news, I ate a hot-dog that was a foot and a half long in about 10-15 minutes this week. I won the contest. Unfortunately I can´t send pics because of this low class ciber place I´m in right now. 


Elder Humbert

5.14.12 Obregon

We had to go with E. Flores to Telcel (the Mexican phone company that the mission uses) to get a new phone chip because his got stolen by a cholo. We got stuck waiting there for a few hours.
And sorry for the lack of pictures. My memory card is getting a little full, so I need to start making backup CDs for more room on my memory card.
On Friday, I had my last normal interview with Pte. Velez. I can`t describe everything, but we finished with me asking him what the most important thing that a missionary can take home. He told me that he could not choose for me--everything depends on the missionary. His personal opinion was letting oneself be led by the Spirit. He opened up PMG to the part that speaks of "A Successful Missionary," and asked me which was most important to me. I had never thought of that before. Without thinking, unconsciously, really, I reached out and pointed at the second--"Amo a las personas y deseo su salvación," or, "I love the people and desire their salvation." I had never thought about it before. But to me, that has become the most important one. He said the closing prayer, we got up, and I told him I loved him. He laughed and said, "Oh yeah? Well I love you more." That guy is great.
At the bus stop after the interviews, a drunk guy came up to us and started talking. That always happens in Mexico, but he suddenly pulled out a Book of Mormon and started saying that he loves reading it. He was apparently an active member in Mexicali years ago, and told us, "El presidente de estaca allá es mi homeboy!" or, "The stake president is . . ." He kept talking and we invited him to Church. He said yes, and walked away. E. Mooney and I just sat there laughing. We don`t want people to drink, but happy drunks are AWESOME.
We were in Church and a woman had been assigned to talk about missionary work. She has a son who`s the right age to go on a mission. She started telling him from the pulpit to go on a mission. She plead with him from the stand. I just dropped my head and thought, "This is so dumb--our investigators are going to think that we force people into going on missions. They cannot do this . . . gahh." We have agency. Inviting, not obligating, is the way the gospel should work.
We continued to priesthood class. The same young man was there and the teacher kept implying that he should go on a mission. Forcefully. I got a little bothered again, but we continued. Suddenly, the door opened and the drunk we had invited to Church in the street walked in with a clean white shirt (not a dress shirt, but is was clean nonetheless) and pants. E. Mooney and I just sat there staring at him. He looked at us and smiled. He no longer smelled like alcohol, even if he still had a giant bushy mustache. He even participated in the class, raising his hand and giving good comments. We were amazed. After the class, we went up to him and he told us, "I`m going back to Mexicali tomorrow. Thanks for inviting me," and walked off again. Cool.
I went over to the young man that everyone had been pressuring into going on a mission after the class. I asked him if he was the guy. He said yes. I asked him, "You know you SHOULD go on a mission, right?" He nodded. "But you still aren`t sure?" He began to explain why he wasn`t sure. I listened to him and then told him, "Look, you already know you should, and I strongly, strongly reccomend that you go on one. If you do so, you will be blessed more than you can ever imagine, no matter what you leave." He acknowledged that, and kept listening. I then told him, "You can go, you should go, but you cannot let anyone obligate you into going. If you leave, you have to do it because you love the Lord and want to please Him--if you leave with any other motive, there`s a chance that a mission will do nothing for you or even make you bitter towards the Church. This is between you and God. You represent Him and Jesus Christ. No one else." I pulled out my triple and opened up to D&C 121:34-45. We read together there in the hall.
"34 Behold, there are many acalled, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?35 Because their ahearts are set so much upon the things of this bworld, and caspire to the dhonors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the arights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to acover our bsins, or to gratify our cpride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or ddominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens ewithdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to akick against the pricks, to bpersecute the saints, and to cfight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the anature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a littlebauthority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise cunrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but afew are chosen.
41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by cpersuasion, by dlong-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.
42 By akindness, and pure bknowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the csoul without dhypocrisy, and without eguile
43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.
45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven."
He sat there staring at the scripture. I told him again, "Please go on a mission. Please go. You have no idea how much it will bless you. But go because you love the Lord. If someone forces you to go, you will receive blessings anyway, but at least have a small part of the right motives."
I believe all young men should go on a mission, and some realize the true reason that they are there when they`re already there, but I`ve seen the damage that unfocused and uncaring missionaries can do to the Church and the people. You have to go because you love God, even if that desire isn`t completely recognized yet.
This is all my personal opinion, not doctrine. But obligation has never been and never will be part of the doctrine of Christ. I at least know that.
We sat there in the hall talking a bit more. I went to shake his hand and was surprised when he gave me a hug. I really hope he prays like I asked him to.
Elder Humbert


Monday, May 7, 2012

5.7.12 -- Obregon

Our ward has a Mother´s Day activity this week. It´s so weird being in a ward that has activities now. I had gotten so used to organizing everything by myself and the other elders.
It got up to 40 degrees Celsius here last week. Crazy. Already heating up.
Let me explain the pictures quickly.
In Hermosillo, E. Church played the piano, E. Valdez the violin (he´s awesome, and has been playing since age 5), and E. Spencer and E. Beeston sang "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul." The main times in my life when I´ve regretted not learning anything about music or singing is when I hear the elders hear play instruments and/or sing--I told E. Spencer so, and he just laughed a little bit. He´s too humble to accept praise. The guy is awesome. I honestly wish you could have heard it back home. I was once again reminded of what E. Bowler, one of my first leaders in the mission, said more than a year ago in a district meeting: "All people can understand two languages--the Spirit, and music."
I made cinnamon rolls at the Velez´ house for concilio. All the elders loved them, as well as Pte. and Hna. Velez.
I bought these AWESOME custom leather scripture cases. E. Olguin knows a guy in his stake in Puebla that makes them. They were completely worth it.
This is a woman that got baptized the Sunday before I got to Obregón, with E. Mooney and E. Beeston, who baptized her. This lady is amazing. She LOVES the scriptures, and told us that she had been waiting for 20 years for someone to come to her home and teach her. She´s been reading the Bible her entire life, and already knew a lot of the truths of the gospel. She invited herself to baptism as soon as possible. We´ve continued to visit her, and she already has her Book of Mormon all marked up. She noticed our scriptures and started asking us about Doctrine and Covenants, and how she can get a hold of new scriptures (her Bible is old and tattered from so much use). We told her that we could get some in Hermosillo, and she asked us about the nice ones that have the tabs on them for being able to find scriptures faster. We told her they were only on the nice ones, and that they were pretty expensive. She expressed dissappointment.
When we got to Hermosillo and were in the Church store, we saw the nice scriptures on the shelf. E. Mooney and I looked at each other. I reached out and grabbed a black triple. He grabbed a Bible. We paid for them and took them to the woman this week. I was carrying them in my backpack, still wrapped in plastic. We had another appointment at that time, so we had to give them to her quickly. She saw them and her face just lit up. I´m not exaggerating when I say this--she told us that that gift was the greatest that she had received since being able to be a part of the Lord´s Church. We quickly had to leave, but came back later in the week.
We came to her door and she was sitting out front on her rocking chair. Next to her, she had a small table with the Bible carefully placed upon a towel. She was reading the triple, which was wrapped in another towel. She told us that she wants to show as much respect to her new scriptures as possible, and that she only wanted to handle them with something on her hands. I was touched. I remembered one of E. Christofferson´s talks--"The Blessing of Scripture." "I feel more complete now," she said.
Cool week. But I unfortunately have run out of time by "quickly" explaining my pictures.
Happy Mother´s Day, everyone. I´m looking forward to talking on Sunday. 
Elder Humbert
P.S. E. Mooney says hi too

5.2.12 -- Obregón

Thanks for the package, by the way. But when I saw it, I was on the verge of finding a Mexican postal worker and just laying into them. Because as you can see, they revised it. Gah, annoying. Very, very annoying. But all good. Everything got through.
We had a multi-zone conference this week. Here´s everyone from Obregón México--the other zone is Obregón Nainari (I don´t know why it´s called that, though, since "Nainari" is a native word for "lice." Then again, that was originally just the stake´s name).

One of the original adobe mud brick houses here in the city. And grafitti.

Anyway. Since we´re headed to Concilio in Hermosillo in a few minutes, I have to be brief.
I vomited for the first time in my mission on Wednesday. Not fun. Projectile vomit. And we had to stay home all day--but I felt fine on Thursday, so went out to work again. I don´t know what happened--I didn´t eat anything and I get all vitamin/mineral stuff--you know, those things that are supposed to keep you healthy.
I was reading in Increase in Learning in the week and I got to a part that speaks of the gift of discernment of spirits--when we have such a gift, we are perfectly in tune with the Light of Christ, and can always discern between good and evil. But it is not just limited to that. When we have the gift of discernment, we are also able to discern the good in everything. Every member of the Church is entitled to this gift. I didn´t really get it all at first but then it hit me--optimism is a principle of the gospel. Just something small from my studies in the week.
We visited a few older people in a very far away neighborhood this week. The older sister had fallen a few weeks before and was still a little hurt. Her home teachers had already come and given her a blessing, but they hadn´t been visited in about a week. We knocked on the door and she answered. She saw us and her face just lit up. She got really excited and immediately invited us in. Haha, just because we´re elders and we came to visit her. Awesome feeling.
On Monday night, we went to go visit a family that E. Beeston and E. Mooney baptized about 2 months ago. The sons are 19 and 17. Only the mom and the 17 year old were home, but we came over and the conversation eventually turned to the mission. What followed was an hour long lesson about the blessings of serving a mission and the necessary preperation in order to serve one. The Spirit was very strong in the room and we looked at the young man. I promised him that whatever he sacrifices in order to serve a mission, the Lord would bless him with more than what he could ever imagine, more than any other thing he would have to leave at home. He nodded his head and said that he knew what I had said was true--the elders had promised them things like that in their conversion process, and because it was a promise made in the Spirit, they had all been fulfilled. We know he´ll be going on a mission. And he´s going to be GREAT.
Sorry if I´m writing really fast and any small ability to write eloquently is not present right now. I´m writing quick. But anyway--adios.

Elder Humbert

 My shoes. Awesome, huh?