We have baptisms lined up for these next few weeks. We´re really excited! You can´t forget about faith, hope, and charity.
We found an investigator named Rebeca and her daughter Ana. Rebeca is 45 and her daughter is in her mid 20s. Ana has a daughter that is 6 months old. They are both super awesome. We were walking 2 weeks ago, contacting people in the street as we went. And then I saw the 3 of them sitting in front of a tiendita (little store). Normally, I wouldn't think much of it because there are always people sitting in front. But I saw the baby, and it was just so darn cute ;) I had a feeling that we needed to go back. So I told my companion that we needed to talk to them and we headed back. We talked to them a little bit about temples and eternal families. We told Ana about how she could be with her daughter forever and they could be together and happy in the presence of God. They told us that they lived in an apartment above a carniceria right next door. We set up an appointment to talk to them and came back the next day. We shared our message and they are so interested in learning. The restauracion, Plan de Salvacion and all. One day when we went to teach them, Rebeca told us about how she believed that we were sent from God to teach them. And that everything had fallen into place. How that one day, they didn´t bring the baby into the tiendita, and they felt as though maybe a breeze would be good for the baby so they kept her outside (with them). And how when we passed, I saw the baby, and felt compelled to return to them. Because they had always seen us walking up and down the street every day. They are now preparing to be baptized on the 31st and came to church yesterday! They also saw the baptism of Victor.
I attached a picture of Victor. He has been listening to us for a while now. His wife (next to him) at first didn’t want anything to do with us because she is a Jehovah’s Witness. But I had a little help from the Spirit ;) Now she is coming to church and she is going to be baptized not this Sunday, but the next! :)
Another guy who is really cool is Jilberto Gomez. We were talking to a lady who was selling chicken in the street (and the only thing that covered the raw chicken was a cloth to attempt to keep the flies away). Jilberto came and we started talking to him and we set up an appt. to go back and teach him at his house. My companion and I have joked around about how his name could be next to some of the reformers in our pamphlet the restauracion (Martin Lutero, Juan Calvino) because he sees all the flaws with all the churches he goes to. ESPECIALLY Tithing. We shared with him our message and he believes it’s true. He came to church yesterday and is also preparing to be baptized on the 31st.
Oh!! I found Elder Porter!!!!! He is companions with a good friend of mine named Elder De Mata. I talked to him on his first day in the field to make sure he was doing ok. Then today while my companion and I were shopping for food, we ran into them! We were both really happy to see each other. We talked for a little while in the store and then continued onward to buy our stuff. It’s so cool to see a familiar face from home around here.
I really love this area. I wouldn´t mind staying here for the rest of my mission ;) The members are awesome, the investigators are awesome.. The only thing that could make it better would be clima (A/C) in the casa ;)
water water water. It’s my life. I have to make sure I put water in my 2 water bottles in the fridge in the night time so I have cold water to drink in the morning, and again I need to put water in them before we leave the house to work so I have cold water to drink in the night time once we get home. Then we try to drink water throughout the day as we go to houses to teach. Some people have cold water, and other people don’t :P Cold water is like a delicacy out here.
Well, we didn’t have any luck with Lorena this week... She was supposed to be baptized last week and didn’t show up so we passed by her house multiple times this past week. We did what we could and tried to take the patient route. But nope, everything blew up and went in a completely different direction. She got weird fast, and now I think she has some type of sickness or illness in her head, like a problem with her brain. We passed by her house yesterday after we ate and her mother from Mexico City came over here, her husband from Tampico came down from where he was working and her 2 kids that practically abandoned her and then just came back once they had to do some type of investigation. Lorena’s mom was furious with her whole family and she blamed it all on them for just completely abandoning her with her youngest daughter Nayeli without money or anything. All her neighbors were there too along with us, and they were talking to us about how they felt about this whole situation. And they all thanked us for always being there for Lorena when no one else was. I was also talking to my zone leaders again about it. It was more of just part of a conversation we were having, but he said, "Well, you did your part, and now if she doesn´t progress more in this world, she will receive and accept the Gospel better in the spirit world." And I agreed.
Did you get the pictures? and by the way, the guy who is wearing the red shirt, his name is Mario. We were trying to find people to teach and offer service. We saw him with his wheel barrow and I offered to help. We asked him where he was going and he told me that it was "todo derecho" I didn´t understand how long "todo derecho" was but I figured, "It can´t be that far." I ended up pushing that wheel barrow for 45 minutes through the middle of nowhere. It was very beautiful though, and a great experience. Apparently, everyone knows Mario, and we put a super good example as representatives of the church and servants of The Lord as we offered this service to him. We talked to quite a few people as we passed them in walking. In one of the pictures, you see me sitting on a rock, with Mario and a guy named Juan. Juan was our "Disciple" as we joked about it. We were walking and we passed him in the road, we talked to him for a little bit, then he decided to accompany us on our journey. It was pretty awesome.
Oh and in our interviews from this last week, Hermana Greer gave me a copy of my passport and my visa. My companion and I looked at the fotos... WOW... We were fat!!!!! I know that when I came out here I was about 240 to 245. But about a month ago I weighed myself on a different scale and it said I weigh about 200 or a little less. I don´t know if its accurate, but there are scales around here that I can check that are electronic, I have a ticket that said what I weighed in Tuxpan, but I need to check again.
We baptized the wife of Victor! The guy we baptized 2 weeks ago :) her name is Monica! and also, Victor received the priesthood the other day! :) And their daughter came to church with us yesterday too :)
We have an AWESOME FAMILY that just moved here from Veracruz. They were baptized in December and just moved down here. They came to the capilla and introduced themselves one day when we were there. These are some of the greatest converts I have ever seen. We visited them (the parents) on Friday and got to know them more. Then on Saturday, we got what seemed like a desperate call from the dad asking if we could go visit them at 8:30. So once we got there, they had picked up their kids from Veracruz and brought them up. Their kids are 18 (preparing to serve a mission), 17, and 15. Their 17 year old daughter wasn’t saying too much when we tried to talk to them. Then continuing onward, we asked why they invited us over and why they wanted to talk (Mainly trying to find out what they were expecting of the visit). They just wanted a good spiritual message of Repentance and Baptism. As I was scanning the room, I noticed the mom looking at the daughter. OH YEAH. I knew that look. I instantly knew exactly why we were there and what the situation was. We shared a message of repentance and whenever we asked a question to the daughter she had a hard time answering. I could see the look in her eyes of what she was going through. I finally got her to talk about some of her feelings about God, how he loves us, and things like that. She started to get choked up and cry. So I gave her a little space and we continued onward. But thinking back on it now, it takes me into the book of Alma. Where Ammon saw the king’s servants crying and in sorrow because they had fear of their outcome. But it gave me joy to see her cry because I knew what her tears meant. She knew that what she had done was wrong, and she had already begun the process of repentance.
Something that I´ve come to learn about my purpose as a missionary is how repentance brings happiness. I´ve seen it for myself in my personal life, and I want people to feel that same happiness.
We had 2 more baptisms yesterday! :) Rebeca and Ana :) They are the people that I contacted because I saw their baby :) And there is a guy we are teaching along with his 2 kids that came to church yesterday. This guy´s name is José Luis. He has had problems with drinking all his life but now has the desires to quit. We gave him a pamphlet of the Word of Wisdom one day, and when we returned the next day. He shaved, combed his hair, had a clean shirt on, and was sober. He told us he read the pamphlet and liked it. Also, when his friends came over to invite him to go out drinking, he said no, and worked instead. He told us about the blessings received he recognized from not drinking. Its pretty cool to see people change :)
We work, contact, try to teach and find new people but it’s just at one of those hard parts of the mission. I´ve felt like I´ve been carrying the load for a while. My companion did admit it to me this week "If I don´t do it, it won´t get done." So I have to do it or I have to make sure he does it. Yes it’s been a little difficult. He can be a good friend and it’s fun to talk with him. We had a companionship inventory this week and he broke down and told me his feelings and started to cry a little. He told me he knew that he hadn´t been giving his near full effort, hardly any. He said that when he was with Elder Jackson before me, they worked A TON. Like 20+ lessons a week sometimes. Yet they never had baptisms to show for it. He said that once I got here, he just lost the will to work as much. I wanted to, but he didn´t. So I got out, worked, taught, and I knew we could have had a lot more success if we would have worked together, but I still felt like I was carrying everything. It wasn´t as much as they had taught before, but what he noticed, was even though we weren´t teaching lesson after lesson after lesson, we were having success. We were getting people in church, having good times with the people we were teaching and enjoying the work. This made him more discouraged because with ALL the work they did before I got here, there was nothing (that he could see). Then once I got here and we had few lessons but more fruit. His ganas (desire) fell even more. Then they raised me to Senior companion and pushed him to Junior. You can only imagine how that would feel. Even when he already feels down. He told me that he felt and feels insufficient or inadequate. He asked for my forgiveness and said he would help more. I told him I forgive him, but I wasn´t the person he needed to ask forgiveness. Then I also said that the past is the past and I don´t care, let’s just move forward. So we have been working more and harder and its better :)
Hi Momma! My PDay is today this week instead of Monday :) We have changes! And on Monday I'm gonna be on a bus to Xalapa to pick up mi hijo!! ( I´m training!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
I´m staying in the same area…YAY!
So when I bought my shirts before the mission, they were all a little big. Now they are HUGE, and I´ve already had to buy a couple new belts that are smaller. Now I´m gonna have to put some more holes in the ones I have. Also my pants are huge too. And when I put my belts through them, they double over and look really funny. I need to get new ones because I look funny. I´ve been looking around at shirts, I´ve already had my suit altered once and coming up here soon I think I´m gonna have to have it done again. I found some pretty nice shirts for about 20-25 dollars. I´ve been looking to try to keep it cheap. When I go to Xalapa I guess I´ll have some time to go look around. I´ve heard that there are some places there that are pretty cheap and really nice so I´ll go check it out. But I imagine that if I were to go to get about 5 new shirts it would be about $100. Then I guess I could slowly start getting more clothes that fit after that. I think I´m gonna go buy a couple shirts so I can look nice tomorrow for church and for when I go to Xalapa. Any donations would be appreciated. :)
Love Elder Koontz
Love Elder Koontz
|Victor's baptism. This is his wife Monica who was listening to the lessons at the time.|
|I offered service to a man that was pushing this wheel barrow and |
ended up pushing it for him for 45 minutes!
|Mario is in the red shirt who I helped with the wheel barrow. The other guy is Juan.|
|Our view on our journey with Mario|
|Our view on our journey with Mario|
|Victor's wife Monica was baptized! And...Victor received the Priesthood! :)|
|Rebeca and her daughter Ana at their taco cart.|
|Rebeca and Ana got baptized!|