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!
We still go to Hermosillo once a month. I really like concilio--we learn a lot and I get to see good friends each week.
We baptized as well this week--this man is great. He`s the guy I wrote about last week, and he loved his baptism. He`s been coming to Church for about a month now, and he`s excited to serve. We bought him a cake, since it was also his birthday, and he just spent the whole time serving everyone else because he was so happy. He`s made a lot of sacrifices to be able to live the Gospel, but we talked with him a bit and he`s doing great.
Oh, and by the way, I talked in Church last Sunday. Want to know when I found out? 5 minutes before sacrament meeting. Cool, huh?
Ah, I don`t have much time, I`m sorry, but I love the email, I had a great week, the Lord is answering my prayers and I`m still growing. I love the mission. Thank Bishop Weight for writing me I love you all
No pictures. Sorry. The computer I´m using isn´t the greatest.
No mission can really be compared with another. There are so many things that you just can´t do it. It´s just better to accept that each mission is specifically suited for each and every missionary, no matter who baptizes more or the external results, the only thing you take with you are the changes that were made
That is, if you can´t keep in contact with your converts after the mission. Geez, I hope I can do that. Because I´d like to see my converts on Earth again, not only like it says in D&C 18.
Saying goodbye in Obregón was pretty hard. The minute we got the transfers from the APs, I felt like my stomach flipped over. But I was able to say goodbye to almost everyone--I´m going to miss my converts so much. And my investigators. The ex-drug addict guy we were teaching took it especially hard. It´s not very fun to say goodbye to someone when they´re crying. But he´s still progressing.
I´ll also miss all the elders from the zone. Good missionaries, and good friends.
One story from last week. I went with E. Tovar on exchanges to Esperanza, and we ended up going to a small town called Cocorit a few minutes from the city. We met an old man, the father of a less active member. We shared a bit about the Church that Christ established on the Earth, but as the lesson went on, he started saying, "But which is the right one? Which is the true Church? And how can I know?" I just sat there thinking, "Wow, it´s as if he was trying to do everything that Preach My Gospel says," and I began to share the Joseph Smith story. By the end, he was just staring at me with an amazed look on his face. I offered him a Book of Mormon and he took it without hesitation. When we left, we taught him how to pray, and he did, thanking the Lord for sending us to his home. He went to Church last Sunday, and as far as I know, he´s still doing great.
As for Nogales, it´s great. I love the city. It´s nowhere NEAR as hot (air conditioning is no longer a necessity--we can survive with just a fan), it rained 4 days last week, it´s full of hills (my calves are killing me), the members are cool, it´s GREEN, and it´s literally right next to the border. Seriously, I can walk 1 minute from where I´m seated right now and see the border and Arizona on the other side.
E. Campos was Branch Pres. in Bacobampo when I was in Huatabampo, and we´ve known each other for a little while. He´s from Cancún, Quintana Roo, and he´s a really good guy. We´re working hard.
Two experiences. One. We´re (or at least I am) teaching a family from the US. The dad was deported a few years ago, so they all came with him to live here. The only people that are really listening are the kids (17 and 14), but their parents are supporting them in everything. Teaching in English is weird. My mind works much faster in English, so I can teach quicker, but my mind is programmed to teach in Spanish. I feel weird doing it. Honestly, I prefer Spanish.
Two. We started teaching a man this week that had already gone to Church a few times. But E. Palfreyman and E. Campos couldn´t teach him before for a few crazy reasons. He was first contacted by the elders from the other branch (oh, and the Church here is a District, composed of 5 branches, 3 in Nogales, 1 in Imuris with E. Vargas as Branch Pres, and 1 in Magdalena), and he started going to Church the moment they invited him. They then gave the referral to the other elders. But his brother, whom he was living with, wasn´t happy with E. Palfreyman and E. Campos coming over to teach him. His brother took and threw away his Book of Mormon and all his pamphlets. So, the man moved out. He found another apartment, and we set an appointment to go see him. We got to his apartment, knocked his door, and waited. He wasn´t there. We called him. "Oh, elders, sorry, I´m in the chapel. The branch pres. invited me to come help them clean the church, so I came." We were surprised, needless to say, and headed over to the chapel. He was there mopping, and we helped him out, along with the other members that were there. We taught him afterwards, and he asked us, "So what do I need to do to be baptized?" He´s been progressing like crazy. Awesome guy.
Hey I don`t have much time, but yeah, I´m being transferred. I love every single one of my areas, and Obregón was no exception. I love the people here, I love the ward, I love my converts, and honestly, I knew that I was being transferred. But it didn´t make it hurt any less when I said goodbye. But we never stopped working, even in the last week. The missionary slang in Spanish that means that a missionary stops working is "morir." In other words, to die. I never want to die. I´ll fill you in next week about what happened in the week, but I´m going to Nogales, with E. Campos, in place of E. Palfreyman. Nogales is colder, we have a washing machine, and one of the elders before me left a bunch of weights in the house to work out with. Cool. I love the mission. I love my converts. I will never regret the decision of serving. Say hi to the returned missionaries for me, I`m glad Kurt`s back. Thanks for the news, I love you all. Elder Humbert
Mom, just so you know, I really, really liked that article. I can`t understand the complete magnitude of it, because I haven`t lived as long as many, many people, but we`re right when we tell the youth of the Church here that the most important decisions they will ever make in their entire life is (1) whether or not they serve a mission and (2) who they will marry. The mission is the most important thing I have done in my life. In high school I thought that I had lost myself in football. That`s nothing compared to the work. I`m not saying that I`ve lost myself completely, I`m not perfect, but I`ve tried as hard as I can, and this is the biggest thing that any young man can ever do.
And yeah . . . I`m honestly not that good at teaching large groups of kids, because they normally just sit there looking at me, silently. Unless I start playing with them. And then I don`t really teach much. Normally they just laugh about the fact that I`m American. But in the US that isn`t as rare.
But I HAVE to keep speaking Spanish after the mission as well. I HAVE to. Whether I work with Mexicans or take a bunch of Spanish classes, I HAVE to keep it. That will involve going to the Spanish ward when I go home. But I don`t know how that`s going to work.
The temple was great. The downside of this concilio was that we had to say goodbye to a few missionaries. The one that I knew the best was E. Spencer (I couldn`t take any pics because my camera died). But here`s a picture of us near the beginning of the mission, of the first meeting that we had with the zone leaders in Hermosillo. E. Spencer has got to be one of the best missionaries I have met in my life. He´s the tall one standing behind me. And in one week, I will be the only one left from this picture.
As for the week, honestly, it wasn´t the most eventful. We had concilio for 2 full days, and we worked our butts off the other days to try and make up the work for the week. And we did, fortunately.
We had a good week, even if it wasn`t super interesting. But I`ve got to go now. Please don`t get mad, I promise a longer email later. Although next week are transfers, so who knows how much time I`ll have.
Brok--thought this was a good article. Read it when you get a chance.
The Mitt Romney effect on Mormon missionary curiosity (From the Deseret News)
Twenty years ago this month I stepped off a plane after serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At no time during the last two decades have I faced more questions and curiosity about my mission to Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Call it the Mitt Romney effect.
It’s understandable. For the first time in history, a “Mormon” will be the official nominee for president of a major political party. More people than ever before are Googling or Yahooing the name of the LDS Church, well-known members and common myths.
While it’s true that I’ve met Mitt Romney and we share the same faith, I have no idea how he would characterize his own mission to France or where he would rank it among the decisions and defining events of his life. I can only speculate that it’s among the most important.
If Romney’s mission was like mine, he was taught early on to work hard by dedicated companions who ranked among the best of the best. My first companion and trainer was Elder Alves, a Brazilian who was easily the hardest working young man I’d ever known. We walked miles and miles everyday in search of the one person he believed was waiting to hear our message.
I’d never worn through soles before, but before I left Brazil, I was sticking surplus pamphlets into my shoes to protect my feet.
If Romney’s mission was like mine, he learned to face hate and rejection. Doors were closed and hearts slammed shut. In one city, several angry men chased my companion and me through an outside café. For weeks we took circuitous routes home to avoid being followed. Once we helped an abused wife hide from her drunken, enraged husband by twisting her up in the curtains dividing two rooms of the chapel. In another city, after baptizing a courageous woman in a river in her backyard, members of her family raced after us cursing and throwing rocks.
We learn failure, too, and it’s often the most tragic aspect of the work. Missionaries find, teach and build friendships with families who will eventually look them in the eye and, for a variety of reasons, ask them never to come back.
If Romney’s mission was like mine, he learned to love people who were different from him in every imaginable way. My heart found room for people so poor that having anything other than rice and beans was like a holiday feast. For some, having a chicken to kill for lunch or dinner was a miracle of Red Sea-parting proportions.
Missionaries also learn to love those of every faith and of no faith at all. We discover that many of the most honorable, faithful Christians in the world are quite happily members of other churches. And while some of our beliefs are different, our God is the same. We discover quickly that Heavenly Father loves all of his children equally, no matter what name is on the church’s sign outside.
If Romney’s mission was like mine, he made friends he continues to love and pray for many years after returning home. Through the miracle of modern technology and social networking, I am able to communicate regularly with several families I worked with from 1990-1992. I love and admire all they have accomplished on their spiritual journeys.
One of my companions near the end of my mission has since left the church. It’s heartbreaking, but I still cherish the time we worked together and the lessons he taught me. I love him just as much as the other dozen or so companions I served with.
Whether you agree with Romney's politics or not, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t accomplished quite a bit in the years since his mission to France. He’s made millions, built businesses, rescued the Salt Lake City Olympic games from scandal and served as governor of Massachusetts.
My own accomplishments in the years since my mission are much less impressive. I’ve made a few bestseller lists, been on television, met some celebrities and spoken to audiences around the world.
But if Romney’s mission was anything like mine, it ranks well above his other accomplishments. At the time, choosing to serve a mission was easily the most important decision I’d ever made. Today, all these years and countless choices later, only one has become more important: the decision to marry my wife and start a family.
As I observe this unique presidential campaign, I am grateful for the curiosity about the LDS Church and our worldwide missionary program. I welcome the chance to share my faith and the experience of laboring a world away as a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As I celebrate this 20-year mission anniversary, I wonder what career accomplishments would ever overtake it. Would selling a million more books? Would topping the New York Times list for three years straight? Would seeing one of my books finally make it to theatres? What about becoming president of the United States?
Not a chance. And if Mitt Romney’s mission was anything like mine, he’d agree.
As for the photos, we went to go visit a sister that has a four year old, who somehow got me to assemble a Barbie puzzle for her in front of her small store that her mom owns. It took me about 5 minutes. But then she took it apart again and wanted to make E. Cirne do the same thing.
And there isn`t much water out here, but the canal is kind of big. No rivers though.
Aaaanyway . . . this week was the first EFY in the history of the Church in Sonora. It was kind of annoying, because we couldn`t visit some of our converts/recently activated members/their family members because they were busy in San Carlos, but sacrament meeting on Sunday made up for everything. Instead of having speakers, the Bishop got up and asked about 4 youth to get up and bear their testimonies and/or share an experience that they had in the activity. After the 4 finished, he would get back up and ask 4 more.
Every single youth that went bore their testimony. It was incredible to see--and feel. Every single youth seemed nervous, and they definitely had a lot of emotion when they spoke. But it was great. The Spirit was felt so strongly, and I got to see the youth that I baptized a few months ago get up and bear his testimony, saying that he wants to serve a mission. I saw a few other youth that were struggling get up and say without any doubt that what they had felt during the activities in EFY was the Spirit. Other youth that we`ve worked with also bore their testimonies.
I feel so good when I see people we`ve taught express themselves. Something that most adults are afraid of is easy for a lot of the youth here.
The ex-drug addict that we`re teaching is doing well. I don`t really enjoy writing that every time, though. So the guy that we`re teaching is doing well. He has a small family, but everytime we had gone to his house and tried to teach his wife, she just said hi to us and walked to the other room. She`s not rude, but she was really shy. So we told our investigator to invite his family to watch a movie with us. He did so. So the next time we went, we were able to watch Finding Faith in Christ with him, his 4 small children, and his wife. When it ended, we talked a bit more about the Atonement and what it means for the family. The change of expression in people`s faces is always so awesome to see. Everyone was participating in the lesson, and by the end, his wife was talking to us naturally. His 3 year old even high fives us now, even though he didn`t even like looking at us before.
Teaching families. Great experiences. The only thing that I`m afraid of is that transfers are in 2 weeks. But oh well. If something happens, it happens. Whatever the Lord wants.