Elder Smith, Elder Gonzalez and Jeffrey
Jeffrey, Elder Olvera, Elder Gomez
Classic Mexican street art. The Virgin of Guadalupe.
Elder Faraimo and Jeffrey.
Elder Hernandez and Elder Faraimo with Jeffrey at the airport
This week was super cool! It’s amazing to consider all of the special and unique experiences that I have every week here in Mexico! I sat down and reflected about all of the things I wanted to share with you all and I felt super blessed to have a so many great experiences. Here is a list of some of the highlights from this past week:
1. I have spent the past week in two different trios with two different Elders from Honduras! On Monday and Tuesday, Elder Gonzalez, from Honduras, was hanging out with Elder Olvera and I for a couple of days before he went home on Wednesday. That same Wednesday night, Elder Gomez, also from Honduras, was told to join our companionship and has been hanging out in the office, working with us, teaching with us, and sleeping over ever since. It’s so cool to have friends from all over the world!
2. Today we went bowling….. again, I know. It seems like we go every week and I’m pretty sure it’s true. However, today was great because I set a personal and Saltillo mission record with 181 in the second game this afternoon! I destroyed my previous record of 157!
3. The accounting cycle closed this past week so I had to work hard to get every single business invoice for every purchase by President Cahoon and his wife. I am pleased to announce that the bank did not block the President’s nor sister Cahoon’s credit cards! The last week of every month is usually stressful but this week was pretty calm.
4. We had a zone conference and interviews with the President. Both went well. We learned about how to improve our teaching skills and how to help people keep their commitments to come unto Christ and develop faith. In my interview, the President and I talked about what I will be up to the last 2 months of my mission and about training a new financial secretary, amongst other things.
5. We had a super spiritual family home evening with Lalo, Gabi, and Renata in their house on Wednesday night. We invited a couple of people who we are teaching and they went! Our friends Roberto and Jose Armando went to the family home evening and we talked about President Nelson’s talk, Joy and Spiritual Survival, with all of them. It was awesome! Especially since Roberto is having a lot of problems with his wife and Jose Armando with his high school friends. Both said they are going to conference this weekend and we hope they continue progressing towards baptism in April!
The most interesting and impacting experience this past week was something that happened this morning. This morning Elder Olvera and I took a couple of missionaries to the airport who were heading home early. As many of you know, young men serve missions for 2 years or 24 months. However, due to various circumstances, including health problems, family issues, death in the family, inappropriate conduct, etc. some missionaries return home early before completing two years of service.
One of the two missionaries that Elder Olvera and I dropped off in the airport is a fabulous missionary and one of my best friends here in the mission. The good news is that he has plans to return here to Saltillo in several months to finish his 2 years of service. However, it will undoubtedly be a challenge to return home and get back to work, school, family, and friends while staying focused on the second half of his mission that awaits him. I was impressed as I listened to him in the taxi describe his personal plan to stay focused on missionary work and helping his friends come unto Christ for the few months while he is home. As we were sitting in the airport waiting for them to get on their flight, I was reflecting a lot about how important it is that we take advantage of every opportunity that our Heavenly Father gives us to progress, improve, and enjoy life.
The example of my friend heading home early, with plans to return to the mission, made me think about how quickly and drastically life can change in such little time. My friend is a fabulous missionary that made the most of every day he had here in Saltillo. He was one of the hardest worker I have met here. He never complained and always had a smile on his face. I never saw him get discouraged but instead saw him leading and inspiring others to continue serving and helping others. However, suddenly, and unexpectant, he is on his way home and will have to adjust to his non-missionary life.
I thought about the 2 months I have left here in Saltillo and all of the things I want to accomplish and experience before I head home and I just felt grateful that I have a chance to continue serving and hopefully finish my 2 years. I am sure that many of us have had similar experiences in life, when you must move houses, jobs, universities, change relationships, etc. Something I have learned here on the mission is that if we look at the positives of all of the changes in life, even the most sudden and drastic ones, we will be able to learn, progress, and even enjoy them.
This upcoming weekend, everyone, members of the church and people who aren’t, have a special opportunity to watch and listen to general conference! Twice a year, in April and October, we have the chance to listen to God’s living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. I encourage everyone to enjoy as many sessions as possible and not let this special opportunity pass us by. We never know what could benefit us, a beautiful talk, an impactful phrase, or powerful testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope that we can all go to conference with questions, concerns, and doubts in our heart and leave experiencing the joy that is promised in Mosiah 3: 13.
‘’And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them’’.
I know that the Holy prophets like Noah, Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah lived and guided the people that listened to them. However, God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow and thus has chosen righteous and wise men to guide us today! What a marvelous and wonderful truth that is! One has to ask yourself, how would I feel if Jesus Christ was here with me right now? If your answer was a positive one, it means that we should listen to the prophets because that is how we will feel. Joyful and happy! I know that we will have joy and peace if we listen to the words and counsels of the prophets! Let’s be sure not to miss this opportunity because we never know when life will drastically change.
Have a great weekend and go Gonzaga!