Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Feliz Navidad!!!

Well, this week we received a new House of Prayer.  And we filled it!!!  I had a very special experience, looking at all the people there on Sunday, many of which were less-actives when I arrived here and feeling good for all the progress that I have seen in this branch in my time here.

Our mission boundaries are going to be changing the first of January and we'll receive a stake of the Chalco Mission.  President has told me that there's a good chance I'll be leaving Ajusco.  


Elder Jarrett

Monday, December 14, 2015



Wendy and Antonio

Transfers: Staying in Ajusco!

Hello All!

Last night we found out about transfers again!  (Normally, every transfer is 6 weeks long, but this last transfer was only 5 weeks because President didn't want to have to worry about making changes the week of Christmas.  The next transfer will be 7 weeks long to make up for it.)  And the transfers area a big surprise!  I'm staying in Ajusco for a fourth transfer!  And my companion will continue to be Elder Mayoral.  And Elder Tapia, who just arrived in our area 5 weeks ago, is leaving!  I really felt that I would be leaving the area (and began to pack and get ready for it.  Haha.  :) ) and I was super surprised with what happened, but I'm excited too.  It will be fun to spend Christmas with the many friends I have made here and I know that if I'm staying in this area, it's for a reason.  And I'm excited to keep working with the members here and find out what still awaits me to learn and do here.

I have seen progress in this area in my time here.  And one visible indicator of this progress is that this Sunday, the branch is switching to a new House of Prayer.  There was a need for the branch to move to a bigger building for our Sunday meetings.  And after this bigger building could follow a chapel here in Ajusco!  :D  And we get to use it for the first time for our branch Christmas party this Saturday!

Yesterday, we got to see the Temple Dedication of the Tijuana temple!  I LOVE temple dedications!  Two weeks ago, we had stake Conference and a member of the fourth quorum of the seventy, Elder Moroni Gaona, spoke!  In one week, we have a mission party for Christmas!  What a great time of year!  Last week, we found out that we will be receiving a visit from Elder Paul B. Peiper to our mission in January!  Wooohh!!  So much goodness!!! :)  

I love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Jarrett

Christmas Tree

Other picture of our tree (branch).

Progress of My Investigators for this Week

Monday, December 7, 2015

Another Wonderful Week in the Mission

Hola Friends and Family!!!

Ahhh!  So much to say and so little time!  I feel like lots has happened this week, and today was super crazy to complete it!  

I'm emailing late because today we hiked Pico de Aguila, the highest peak in our mission, and one of the highest in Mexico City.  And it's in my area!  I've always seen it and heard about it, but with President Valadez, missionaries couldn't hike it.  But President Mecham told us we could and today we went!  It reminded me of hiking the mountains in Utah, with so many pine trees and no signs of "big city" like so much of Mexico City.  It was very fun!  But a little tiring too.  It took about 3 hours to climb to the top and other 3 to come down.  Also, my first time hitchhiking!  We took a taxi to the base of the mountain, but when we came out, we were far away from our house, on a street without buses or taxis or cars at all.  So when a car finally came down the hill, the member with us put out his thumb and we hopped in the bed of a truck to ride back.  So fun!  ;)

This week we also were able to put a baptismal date with a new investigator named Rosa.  She is the sister of a Recent Convert of our Branch.  She is really sick, so she came to live with her sister so that her sister can take care of her.  She believes very much in God, but she has a very different perspective, being very strictly Catholic all of her life.  But she listens to us and likes what we share!  The biggest problem with her is her health.  We have to pray for a miracle with her health so that we can be able to complete the baptism.  

Well, sorry, I don't have time for more, but I love you all!  Until next week!

Elder Jarrett

Monday, November 30, 2015

Welcome to December!!! :O

Greetings from the Land of a Sunny, Warm Christmas!!!  (or as they say here, Navidad)

Wow, this week welcomes in the month of Christmas!!!  But I probably won't be dreaming of a white one.  Ajusco is in the mountains of Mexico City, so it does get colder here than in other parts of the City, but I'm still wearing short sleeves most of the days.  Occasionally a sweater.   The members say that every year they see snow on the peak behind our houses, and every few years they see snow in the village of Ajusco, but from what I can tell, their understanding of snow is really more like frost.  ;) 
Elder Mayoral and I had the idea of making a Christmas tree this year, since we won't be able to buy one or cut one down.  We bought wire and green paper to fashion into branches and my comp wants to use our plunger as the base and trunk.  We'll see how it turns out when we're done with it.  :D   

Yesterday was the Branch Primary Program and I saw more people in the House of Prayer than I have ever seen before!!!  Our branch has about 20 active members that come every week.  Yesterday I counted 78 people during Sacrament Meeting!!!  We had to use 3 different rooms in the house to fit everyone and we put chairs in the hallway as well!!!  Not everyone could see the children, but I feel like they still enjoyed it. :)  Children have a very special Spirit.  And I believe that all the adults can watch them and think of themselves as the little, innocent children they once were and laugh at the funny things tney do and say.  The children bring many more people to the church on Sunday than the missionaries can alone.  :)

This week I'll try to summarize each day of the week to give you a run-down:

Tues:  We worked hard all day long and taught 5 lessons.  One of our investigators, Ximena Flores, has seemed to lack a little bit of interest or motivation recently.  So we taught about temples to try and help her.  She showed more interest than I've seen in her in a long time!  She told us that she wants to take her family and go to the Visitors Center to see and learn more!  I know that the Temple is the House of the Lord!

Wed:  We searched all day for less-active members of the branch.  I found many streets I had never visited in my time here.  And we found the houses of some of the members!  A large part of missionary work is working with less-active members as well.  And the greatest way to help them is to give them a friend in the ward/branch.  So go find yourself a friend and go to church with them!  :)

Thurs:  Weekly planning session and more lessons.  We found two new investigators!

Fri: Zone Conference with President Mecham!  I love Zone Conferences!  I always leave feeling so inspired and uplifted to rededicate all of my life to the church!  President has been focusing a lot on that he wants every area in the mission to teach 40 lessons every week, 20 of which to be lessons to an investigator accompanied by a member.   It is vital that we teach this many lessons so that we can really teach Everyone and find those that are ready to receive the gospel in their lives!  It is a large goal, but every week, my area has been improving and I'm determined that we can do it.   We also did an activity where people with blindfolds had to blow up a balloon, pick up a pencil, sharpen it and pop your balloon.  There were people tempting you to walk the wrong way and get you lost, and also people to help you.  I was one of the missionares that was blindfolded.  It represented that to blow up a balloon is to put a baptismal date, but even after this, there is still work to do to pop the balloon and get baptized.  We have to include the members in the work so that our investigators can have more guides to help them.

Sat:  We did an Area Attack in Topilejo.  President Mecham came up with the idea of Area Attacks, when we send the entire zone of missionaries to one area and we all go out with the members and contact as many less-active members as we can in a few hours.  When the zone leader was putting the companionships with members, he told one members, I'm going to put you with the two best missionares, Elder Jarrett and Elder Mayoral, everyone else in the zone was still standing there and heard it and all said, "Heeeyyyy".  Hahaha, it was funny.  And the whole experience was very cool!

Sun:  Primary Program and another Area Attack in San Pedro.  I went on divisions (left my companion and went with members) with the Stake President and his wife!  Again, we were able to find and motivate and help more less-active members and I was able to meet and spend the night teaching with the Stake President!  :)

Well, until next week!  I love you all!

Elder Jarrett

Monday, November 16, 2015

A New Transfer, A New District, A New Start Here in Ajusco

Hola Mis Hermanos y Hermanas!

¿Como están esta semana?  Espero que estén muy bien.

So, Transfers were last week.  It seems like this week has been so long though.  The changes were very unusual.  My comp and I are staying in Ajusco and both of the other Elders were taken out.  And the President put in two new Elders,  Elder Tapia from Veracruz and Elder Cruz from Quintana Roo is just starting his mission here in this area.  Elder Tapia is three months from finishing his mission and he came here to Ajusco after one year of being Zone Leader.  In fact, he was my Zone Leader in Iztapalapa when I was there, so I already knew him pretty well.  He is very serious when it comes to missionary work.  He likes to get things done and is very persistent in doing them.  When he contacts in the street, he is like a missionary machine, contacting all the people he can.  He is a good missionary and does the work in a very different form than Elder McClure did it, which is good because maybe this is exactly what Ajusco needs to change drastically.  But this week has been an adjustment.

We haven't been able to find many new investigators recently, and the first night that Elder Tapia arrived, he called us and asked us to put the goal of 5 new investigators this week.  It was a big goal and we worked very hard all week to achieve it.  There were a few stressful days when we worked hard and still didn´t have anything (another day was just like last week with many appointments and we ended the day without any lessons) but we kept powering through it.  Wednesday, I did more street contacts than I've done in any other day of the mission.  I iniciated 10 or 11 and my companion started another 8 or 9.  Of these 20ish contacts, we only got 5 addresses that we could follow up on.  Throughout the week, we kept a goal of contacting 5 people each. Last week, I mentioned the references we have received through a program called Missionary Contacts.  We have been searching for these contacts every week all last transfer.  And there were a few that we could have dropped.  One of these was a lady that we went to her house and she said that the lady we were looking for didn't live there.  My comp said that we should drop her, but I thought we should try again another day.  So we did, and we found her!  Yesterday we had an appointment with her and taught her (Magdalena), and two of her family members, Carolina and Israel.  They told us that they have family problems and our visit was an answer to their prayers!   Then we made contact with another reference from Missionary Contacts named Bryan and invited his sister Lilian to join our lesson!  They accepted very well as well!  So as of last night, we found our 5 new investigators!  It was a lot of work, but we did it! 

Here is a picture of our old district, our branch President (center), and our branch mission leader.

I Love You All!!!  You're in my prayers!

Elder Jarrett

Fwd: View of the City at Night from Ajusco

View of Mexico City from Ajusco at night.

Fwd: Gracias again for the piñata

Birthday Piñata

Fwd: Photo of our District!!!

My old District.  Elder Mayoral and I and Elder McClure and Elder Miller.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Staying in Ajusco!!!

Hola amigos!

Last night we found out about transfers this week.  For the first time in my 8 months as a missionary, I will be having a companion for more than one transfer.  My companion, Elder Mayoral, and I are staying in Ajusco!  But the other two Elders in our district, Elder McClure and Elder Miller, are both getting taken out.  So we're not sure if they are going to close their area for good, whitewash it with two new missionaries, or there's also an option that he'll put in two sister missionaries here (because our mission is receiving more sister missionaries than male missionaries.  And the number of missionaries in our mission continues to drop lower and lower every transfer.  When I got to the mission, there were close to 250 missionaries in this mission, now there´s about 160.)

Well, as for MY area of Ajusco.  It's difficult at times because we don't see much progress.  The members have told us numerous times "The people here are very hard.  Ajusco is a pueblito (very small town) and the people are very stuck in the Catholic traditions of their families.  They´re very hard to convince."  In another Zone Conference this week, the zone leaders mentioned again that Ajusco is a very difficult area.  So it's no secret that things move a little slower here in our area.  We don´t see as much change as we would hope, but truly, little by little, things are changing.  

When I arrived, many of the members had hard feelings towards the missionaries and didn't really show much support.  When we would go talk to the members, they would share experiences they had had with disobedient missionaries in the past and would tell us that we weren't doing our work here because there are so many less active members in the branch and we haven't baptized in this branch in a while.  In the past few weeks, we have seen that the members now have begun to have trust in the missionaries again.  These members began to be willing to help us.   Our branch called a Branch Mission Leader, which we had not had.  They began to have a Branch Council meeting every week and invite us to come talk about our investigators.  Many of the members now know our names and have given us their friendship and support.  

 Last week, I was thinking about each of my three areas.  Each one has been unique and had a different feeling to it.  As I thought of my time here, I thought of the work we've done and the slow progress we're seeing.  We've tried contacting references received in the past and never contacted (and we've done a lot.  We started the transfer with 21 old references, now we're trying to find the last few), contacting in the streets, working more with the members, starting an English class, everything we could think of.  Sometimes it's discouraging to think that you're trying to do all you can, but you're still not seeing much success.    Last week, we had a really bad day like that.  We started the day with five scheduled appointments and really good plans for the entire day.  Every one of our appointments told us that they couldn't talk with us when we arrived at their house, all of our backup plans weren´t there, and before the day was even over, we had gone through all of our plans and didn´t have one single lesson.  We felt we had done all that we could and yet the people still rejected us.  
I began to think about how the people that reject us don't understand that our message can bless them more than anything else in the world, but no matter how bad I want them to accept it, they have to choose to accept it.  I then began to think that our Father in Heaven at times probably feels very similarly.  He has created a Perfect Plan for his children.  He has sent his Son to save us and has given us every opportunity to accept his gospel in our lives and receive this peace and forgiveness.  He has done literally everything he can to help us receive this happiness and peace in our lives, even down to giving his own Son for us.  But it still comes down to our decision to accept it our own lives.  He probably feels sad with us when people reject our appointments and don't want to hear from us.  He probably doesn´t see as much success as he would like either.  But he is very patient with us and I need to be patient as well.  

With President Mecham, our new mission president that arrived a few months ago, we've just started to see all of his new changes.  I'm really happy with them.  He's really taken out a lot of unecessary things we've had to do so that we can devote more time to the really important things.  This week in our Zone Conference, we heard many new changes.  One is that he wants us to be able to actually relax on P-days (because really, P-days have been nothing of a rest so far) and now on P-days we can travel to anywhere in the mission boundaries!  I'm so excited to see new places in our mission and get to know Mexico City a little better!  Hopefully more updates on this to come soon!

I Love You All!!!  Have a Great Week!!!


Elder Jarrett

Monday, October 12, 2015

Beginning to See Results

Hello My Wonderful Family and Friends!!!

Well, I can´t really think of anything super crazy or new that happened this week.  But now that I think about it, this week was pretty miraculous.

My area of Ajusco is kind of hard in a few ways.  My Zone of Tlalpan has had less baptisms than any other zone in the mission recently.  And in our Zone Conference this week, the Zone Leader pointed out the area of Ajusco is one of the hardest areas in the zone.  
So, you could say that my area is one of the hardest in the mission.  Since I arrived here, there has been some disappointment or unexcitement from the other missionaries here, almost as if they feel like this area is like a lost hope.  But I arrived and made the personal commitment to try and change that.  When I received my new companion two weeks ago, I decided this was the time to change it all.  And we worked a lot.  We contacted as much as we felt we could in the street and we tried to search out all the old references that our area has received in the last year.  At the end of the week, our work didn't show much of a difference.  But this week, we found and taught three new investigators and were able to put two baptismal dates!  My first baptismal dates in this area! :D
Surely, this doesn't mean that we have two baptisms or that it was all because of our work (in fact, it's all the Lord's work).  There's still a lot of work ahead, but I have faith that this week can be the beginning of new things here in Ajusco.  :)

My companion and I are getting along Super well!  Elder Mayoral is Awesome!  He is willing to work hard and wants to be a great, obedient missionary! Although I'm supposed to be teaching him as his trainer, he is teaching me a ton!  The way it should be, I guess.  The trainer is trained as much as his trainee.  :D

I love yáll!  Have a Wonderful Week!!!


Elder Jarrett

Monday, September 28, 2015

Transfers, Mouse in the House, General Conference

Greetings to my Beloved Friends and Family from Mexico City!

I felt like this week I learned and progressed a lot!  And I'm still Loving the Mission!!!

TRANSFERS:  Well, this week comes with Transfers again. Last night we received the news that... Elder Galindo is leaving the area and I'm staying here.  I'm sad to see Elder Galindo go, but I suppose it's a good thing, he was ready to leave after having 6 months in the area.  And I've still never had a companion for more than one transfer and I'm going to receive my tenth in total in the mission:  Elder Harris, Elder Tams, Elder Begley, Elder Marsh, Elder Schow, Elder Oberg, Elder Rivera, Elder Segovia, Elder Galindo, and now one more.  But like I've said before, even though it's hard to keep adjusting, each companion is a blessing.  There are new things to learn with each one.   The 3 other missionaries that arrived from the MTC with me are all just leaving their first area and about to receive their fourth companion.  So I feel blessed with the unique circumstance I have, and the many things I have been able to learn.

MOUSE IN THE HOUSE:  Recently, we have found a bunch of bugs in our house.  There has always been a ton of spiders.  Then two weeks ago, we found a scorpion.  And in the past week, we have found three cara de niños, poisonous, grasshopper-like insects.  Tuesday night, we found a mouse in our room as it ran right by my foot.  My companion and I don't like mice,but we didn't have anything with which to kill it, so we went and asked the owner of our house if they had anything.  Our owner just said, no, just kill it with a broom.  (We asked the Zone Leaders for permission to stay the night with the other elders and they said no.)  We closed the door to our room, stood on our bedframes and began moving everything from my bed, one thing at a time.  We ended up hitting the window curtains and it fell out and ran to another part of the room. So we would move the stuff from that part and it would run out to a different part.  Each time it ran out, I would get several good wacks at it with the broom, but it never died. (We even saw it run halfway up the wall!)  Finally, we had everything out of the room and the mouse was trapped behind a weightset.  We were sure we had it.  Then it ran behind a warddrobe built into the wall.  We couldn't move the warddrobe, so we slept on the mattresses on the floor in a different room for the next few nights.  The next day we bought mouse poison and a mouse trap.  But we are still yet to catch the mouse, so we have made our new room our permanent room and moved everything out of the old one.  Fun adventures!

GENERAL CONFERENCE:  I AM SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND!!!  There is always so much personal revelation to be received!!!  Who are your guesses for the new apostles?  My guesses are Tad R. Callister, Donald L. Hallstrom, and a Latino.  

MIRACLE:  This week, the daughter of one of the families in our branch went missing.  All week the family was very worried.  We went over a few times and shared messages of hope with them.  And we said prayers that if it was God's will, that the daughter would be found.  And she was on Saturday!  The cool part is that this scary incidence has strengthened the bond of this family.  And there are many members of this family who aren't members.  And they all came to church yesterday and shared their testimonies of God's help in this event.  It's incredible to see the tender mercies of the Lord and his work among men.  The church is true!  I know it!

OTHER NEWS:  This week we started an English class in the branch!  Pictures to come next week.  Our mission is shrinking in size!  Many areas have to be closed because each transfer, more missionaries are leaving than coming in.  This week is the Ajusco fair!  It's like a miny Lagoon!  Amusement park rides and parades line the entire streeet!

Well, that's all the time I have!  Until next week!  I love you all!

Elder Jarrett

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hospital, Baptism, and Mission Fun! :D

Friends and Family!!!

This week was Super Awesome!!!  Lots of new adventures here in Mexico!  

First off, my first trip to a Mexican hosptial.  So every day except P-day, the members give us food to eat for lunch.  But on P-days, we have to eat food from the street. Last P-day, right before emailing, we went to eat Pizza at a restaurant.  The pizza tasted pretty bad, not like the pizza we've had there before, almost as if the meat wasn't all that fresh.  But we added extra salsa and ate it and didn't think much of it.
The next morning, we had a Zone Conference.  Our district went, but we were all sick to the stomach.  From our mountainside area of Ajusco to the Stake Center is about an hour in an overcrowded bus through windy, hillside roads.  This didn't help any with the way we were feeling.  After the conference, on the way home, my companion and I thought we were going to vomit, so we all got off the bus, waited a while, and hailed a taxi to take us the rest of the way up.  We laid at home all that day, with pain in the stomach and vomiting and some of us (not me) with diarrhea.  We called the Mission President's wife that night to tell her that three of the four missionaries in our district were sick (Elder McClure had begun to feel better), and she told us to go to the hospital.
It was the night of Mexican Independence, so we called a taxi and got to drive through town with fireworks going off and all (but we had more pressing matters on our mind than the fireworks).  Finally, we arrived at the hospital.  I felt like I could wait the night and see if I still hurt in the morning, so I wasn't going to tell them that I was sick.  But before I had the chance to tell them anything, Elder McClure told them that the three of us were sick.  They took us to a room and the first thing they did is put in an IV.  I was waiting for them to ask us questions of medical history or symptoms or something, but they didn't.  They came in and gave us pills and told us to take them.  I asked them what they were for and one was for diarrhea, so I told them that I didn't have diarrhea and so they said, "Oh, you don't?  Well just take the rest of them then, but not that pill."  For all that night and the next day and another night and another day they kept us there hospitalized.  They would come in regularly and ask us "How are you feeling?"  and "Do you still have diarrhea?"  To which I would think, I never had it!   All the doctors would poke their heads in our rooms about every hour and make a joke about pizza like "Hey, I'm on the phone ordering pizza right now, you want me to get you some?"  They thought it was hilarious, but with the food they were feeding us (toast without butter - or in other words, just toasted bread), I would have taken the pizza.   I really felt pretty fine after the first night, but they wanted to be sure that we were absolutely better before they released us.  The good part is that our whole district was there together (my companion and I in one room and the other two in the other, but they came to visit us a lot), so we were able to talk as a district as we all laid there in our sickbeds.  :)

Next, Baptism of Ataúlfo (the 93-year-old man that I taught in Ermita)!!!  Last week, I mentioned that I found out Ataúlfo was going to be baptized on Saturday, so I called President this week and asked him if it was possible that I could go to the baptism, and he said Yes!!!  I was super Excited!!!  You could ask my comp, I was talking about it all week!
I was especially excited for this baptism, because this is the first baptism I've had of someone I actually found and initiated the teaching with!  And I kept teaching him despite my change of companions from Elder Oberg to Elder Rivera to Elder Segovia.  When I left Ermita on Special Transfers three weeks ago, I had already taught him 3 and a half of the 5 required lessons and I made sure that Elder Harris and Elder Martinez (who were taking over my area) knew about him so that they could teach him.  
At the baptism, Elder Harris and Elder Martinez didn't seem as enthusiastic as I was, my companion told me afterward.  When Ataúlfo arrived I talked to him for a few minutes and after it was over I gave him a card I had written and told him Congrats!  Because of the temple dedication last week, the other missionaries couldn't announce the baptism, so there wasn't a huge turnout (8 family members, 8 missionaries, and 3 members from the ward), so I'm glad I went, so that I could show my support for him. I even got to play a part of the program by singing "Come Thou Fount" in Spanish with the other Elders and by saying the closing prayer. The entire time I couldn't stop smiling I was so happy for him!  I feel like on the mission, you develop a love for the people very quickly.  And I was sure that the love I was feeling for him and the joy I felt at his baptism is a glimpse into what our Heavenly Father feels at each baptism.  I was so happy that even after 93 years of life, that a man can learn that this church is true and enter the waters of baptism!

Yesterday, I got to speak in church again!  The speakers that were assigned to speak didn't show up, so right before the meeting started, the Branch President asked Elder Miller and I to speak.  I spoke on the Plan of Salvation.  I shared how as a kid, we played games at birthday parties with a Treasure Map, where you would follow certain guidelines to find a treasure.  I told them that the Plan of Salvation is the Treasure Map that God has given to us for our eternity.  Then I spoke of each part of the plan and the treasure that awaits us at the end.  I feel like it went well for having so short of notice to prepare.  Really, I know that the Lord blesses us with the words we need to share the gospel with others!  So many times on my mission, I have felt inspiration or things that hadn't ever occurred to me before, come to my mind in a lesson or before a talk or in study.  And these moments are blessings from God that I am SO grateful for!

Three of us from our district of four in the hospital with IVs!

The baptism of Ataúlfo!

I Love You All!   The Church is True!!


Elder Jarrett

Monday, August 3, 2015


Hey Friends!

This week we had a baptism for an hermana named Wendy!  It's super cool!  Her brother was baptized about a month ago.  He's 14 years old (like Joseph Smith was).  A few months ago, he started wondering about religion.  He used the internet to research a bunch of different churches and he liked our church the best.  So he started coming to church every week, just on his own.  After a few weeks, the missionaries found out about him.  He received the missionary lessons and was baptized.  At his baptism, he bore his testimony and it was super powerful and everyone was crying from the strong feelings of the Spirit.  From this experience, the rest of his family started to take interest too.  His sister started taking the lessons just before I arrived in this area.  And this week she was baptized!  Their mom says she wants to be baptized too, but has conflicts with work every Sunday.  All of this people have interest in the church now because of this 14-year old boy!  

Sorry, short email, but that's all the time I have.  Until next week!


Elder Jarrett

Monday, July 27, 2015

My Friends!

Well, this week didn't hold anything too out of the ordinary.   Just the normal missionary life - lots of preaching and teaching of the Word of God!  I LOVE IT!!!  The secret to missionary work really is to forget yourself.  A little while back, I was struggling with the thoughts of home and being with family and friends.  It can be hard to adjust to a new area.  But I learned from another Elder, don't think about things from before the mission or worry about how things will be after the mission, just focus on what you're doing Now!  An Elder in my district, Elder Harris, related being on the mission to being in a money booth.  We only get so much time here.  And too many people spend the time that they do have on the mission, looking off at other things, wishing they could be somewhere else (with their family or friends, in college, doing the sports and activities they did before the mission) and totally oblivious to the many blessings available to them now!!!  What crazy man would stand in a money booth, with money (or blessings) flying all around them and gaze off into the distance worrying about other things?  No!  Now is the time for each of us to Act with what we have, take advantage of our time on Earth, and Enjoy the blessings God has prepared for us!

I think that in our lives, we too, at times, get distracted from the ultimate purpose.  I was reading recently in Alma 37.  It says that the family of Lehi quit progressing at times because they didn't travel a DIRECT course.  That doesn't necessarily mean that they were doing nothing, they were still traveling some type of course, but it wasn't directly leading them to where they needed to go.  How often do we use our time and energy for things that dont have a a DIRECT purpose for our Eternal Happiness and Salvation?  Some things, like social media, videogames, watching television, etc. aren't necessarily bad, but it reminds me of the talk "Good, Better, Best".  We should fill our lives with the Best things!  The things of God!

Well, other news for this week.  We're having a baptism on Saturday for an hermana named Wendy.  I'll tell you more about her next week!  Also, we started teaching a pastor of a different faith.  And it all started with service - he got interested through free English classes that we teach every Saturday.  Don't forget the impact of Service!  Go and Serve!  I Love You All!


Elder Jarrett

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week of the Bible Bashing

Hello My Amigos!

        Well, the title pretty much describes this week in a nutshell.  Here in Mexico, there are three major religions: Christians (they are their own church with different beliefs than us) , Catholics (they all worship the virgin María Guadalupe and many different Saints. There are idols of Mary on all the streets.  They believe that Mary appeared to a man, Juan Diego, and told him "Worship Me". -- Interesting note, this is exactly what Satan told to Moses when he appeared to him), and then there are tons of Jehovah's Witnesses here.

        This week we got contacted by two different people on two different days that wanted to "learn more" or "talk with us".  Both were Jehovah's Witnesses.   With each of them, when we showed up to share a message, it turned out that they wanted to argue.  We tried not to attack their beliefs, but to defend our own.  And in the end, both left with questions that they didn't know and said they would check with their leaders to see if they knew the answer.
         On a different day, also taught a Catholic woman who got really mad when we taught about baptism.  We told her that we believe you must be old enough (8) to make the choice to be baptized. She started yelling that babies need to be baptized in case they die young.  We shared a scripture from the Bible that says children are precious to God and another that says we can't be saved for the acts of others and asked what happens to a baby if they die young and haven't been baptized.  She said they're saved either way, baptized or not, but that it's special if they've been baptized.  We left her thinking about things differently if nothing else.
          And finally, we taught an investigator of ours named Flavio.  He's never had an organized religion, but he's read part of the Bible.  In church, we were talking about the Word of Wisdom and he asked if we can eat pork or if we follow the Law of Moses in Dueteronomy.  We answered that pork is okay, but we shouldn't eat any meat in excess.  He told us he disagrees and doesn't think that's right.  We shared Acts 10 when the Lord says to eat meat, but he decided not to believe that chapter.  I never realized how odd the principles of our church are to other people, or how much stranger their ideas are.  I've never needed to know the Bible so well in all my life.

          Our purpose as missionaries is not to convince, that is the Holy Ghost's role.  Our purpose is to invite.  People can argue all they want, and we can share scripture after scripture to show why we believe the way we do, but in the end, they have to overcome the real problem - the wall of faith.  The only way to really believe in the Book of Mormon and everything our church teaches isn't to prove every other church wrong, the only way is by praying and receiving the answer through the Holy Ghost.  It's a simple invitation, a simple manner to know, and the only one.  But it's real and it works.

Well, there's my counsel for the week!  Until next week!

Elder Jarrett

Monday, June 29, 2015

Re: Fotos con mi Amigo

Pictures of an Intercambio I did about a month ago.  I spent the day with Elder Contreras from Chile.

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:21 PM, Austin Jarrett <austin.jarrett@myldsmail.net> wrote:

Fwd: Fotos con mi Amigo

Monday, June 15, 2015

First Dog Attack and Farewell to President


What's up?  The Mission is Awesome!!  Me and my companion are still get along really well and time is flying by.  New missionaries are trained for 12 weeks on the mission (2 transfers).  So he is still considered my trainer.  After 12 weeks we are supposed to be fully capable missionaries to lead our own area and maybe train somebody else.  Lots of Elders have told me that I have really good Spanish and that I'd better be ready to train someone after this transfer.  But with the President leaving, they're not going to do many switches at the end of this transfer, and really, I'd be happy to stay with Elder Schow in this area.  So who knows.

This week we had our final conference with President Valadez.  The new mission president, President Meacham, arrives in two weeks.  The conference was super good and super powerful.  There was a testimony meeting and the president and his wife were crying.  President talked about working hard until the very end of your mission.  As well as obedience and all the usual things.

Let's see, new things from this week:
There are dogs everywhere here.  Today, I got attacked for the first time!  :)  Usually it's the small dogs that come and yap at your ankles, but there was a big black dog that was tied up on the sidewalk.  We walked past and he went crazy right as I was in front of him.  He jumped up and put his teeth around my hip, but I yanked my hip out of his mouth before anything happened.  I was worried my pants would be ripped, but we're good!  Now I'm like an official missionary!

Weird things I've eaten:
They take Pork Rines (dried pig skin) and put it in soup, so it gains its hydration again.  So it's similar to eating pig skin.  That's interesting.
I've eaten tripe tacos.  Tripe, apparently, is cow stomach.  I didn't know that's what the tacos were until after I'd eaten them.

Have an Awesome week y'all!

Elder Jarrett

Monday, June 8, 2015

Another Week in Mexico


Things are Fantastic here,  I was stressed in the first transfer, but now I understand Spanish better, I understand better how to teach, I've gotten used to the schedule and rules of the mission, and I've found much peace in my live.  I'm actually enjoying the mission a lot.  :D  And Elder Schow is great!  We get along really well.

Our mission president leaves on the 30th of this month and we get our new president, President Mecham.  They say that an American president replacing our Latino president could bring some big changes, but we'll see.  Our mission is really strict on all the rules right now.  They say our mission is one of the most strict in the world, but also one of the most successful.

We went on Intercambios this week with the zone leaders.  So I had a Latino companion for 24 hours that couldn't speak English. So I talked in Spanish for a full day.  I was surprised at how much Spanish I actually know and understand.  But I feel like it's more fun to talk in English because you can express yourself better.  So I'm glad to have an American companion now. :)

Sorry, next week I want to share some spiritual insights I've gained on my mission, but I'm out of time today.  Well, have an Awesome Week!!!

Pic:  More rain!

Elder Jarrett

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rain in Mexico

One more picture from this week.  Here we're in the rainy season, so it rains about every single night.  And most nights, when it rains, it pours.  :)

Elder Jarrett

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hello all,

The biggest highlight of this week was that Elder Alan Walker (of the 4th Quorum of the 70) came to visit our mission.  Our mission president has been preparing for weeks, he made sure we all had haircuts, studied Preach My Gospel, and that we all arrived at least an hour early.  These preparations made it even more special when he visited.  He taught that we should invite all of our families to serve mission (adults and young ones alike).  He also challenged us to be full-purpose missionaries and start teaching our investigators with the end in mind (the end being baptism, temple, and then the Celestial Kingdom).

There was a giant storm this week, and we figured out that when there's storms, the cockroaches come out.  We saw a huge one out our window and so we went out to get a picture and they were Everywhere.  All the walls, the floor, they were all covered with them. I was getting a picture and I felt something on my back, so I screamed and ran inside telling my companion to "get it off".  Luckily, I was okay though. ;)  I attached a picture of one of these big cockroaches, but it doesn't do it justice because you can't see the real size.

Also, I ate my first fried grasshopper this week.  :)  My companion filmed me on my camera, but it's too big of a file to send through email.  They don't taste very good and the look on my face tells that.  But I'm loving the new experiences!

I love you all!  Remember to include God in all you do!  He really is your father and loves you so much!  Bye!

Elder Jarrett

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Another Week in the Life!

Hola mis amigos!

This week was interesting.  We went to teach one of our investigators with a planned baptismal date, and found out she is in jail.  But we got another baptismal date with another investigator, so that's Awesome.  My Spanish has gotten a lot better since the MTC, but I still have a hard time understanding everything that people say.  The other Elders in our district had a baptism this week, so that was super cool to go to.

As far as culture here goes...  Food:  We eat a lot of soup or rize and chicken.  And tons of tortillas every day.  A lot of extremely spicy salsa too.  We like to have competitions as missionaries at dinner of who can eat more of the spicy stuff.  But it always ends in tears.  :)  Festivities:  Every weekend is a party here.  Lots of music in the streets and such - and Everyone listens to American music (in English too, even if they don't understand it).  They celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a day off of work.  But nothing huge.  They also have some holidays we don't have.  For example, Dia de los Niños (Day of the Children) was celebrated last week.  People:  There are many different kinds of people here.  But they are all so kind and friendly.  Traffic:  They don't have stop signs or speed limits, so they have lots of speedbumps.

One super cool "coincidence" (I think not) this week.  The other day, me and my companion were starting our day and we were both really hungry.  On our way to our first lesson, I said, "Maybe someone will just open the door and say 'Oh we have this cake, do you want it?'"  We laughed.  The very first house we went to, we taught a lesson to the family and when we finished, the mother said, "It's our daughter's birthday today and we have some cake.  Would you eat a slice?".  And we got cake!  My companion whispered "Ask and ye shall receive."  It was pretty cool.

Well, I think I'm out of time.  Until next week!

Hasta luego!

Elder Jarrett 

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 2!


Hey Everyone!  Sorry, not a lot of time to write, but I wanted to share a little about my week!

This week we worked hard and taught lots.  In my first two weeks of the mission, we have set baptismal dates with two of our investigators.  Now we're working hard to get them ready for baptism!

Yesterday, ten minutes before sacrament meeting started, the bishop told me, "Hey, since you're a new missionary, the ward hasn't gotten a chance to meet you yet.  Would you share your testimony with us today in Sacrament Meeting?"  "Uhhh... yep."  "Great.  And ten minutes would be perfect."  Ten minutes?  I was worried I didn't even have a Spanish vocabulary large enough to teach for ten minutes straight, especially not for it to make any sense.  :) 
But I looked through my scriptures and found some really good scriptures about relying on God.  Then I prayed that God would help me.  And he did!  I shared the experience of hiking King's Peak that I shared in my farewell talk, and I shared a scripture about us all needing to trust in God and our Savior.  I bore testimony of my love for the gospel, and I challenged the congregation to help the missionaries find people to teach.  All in all, it lasted about 8 minutes.  It was great!  I know that the Lord filled my mouth with the words I should say.  And one guy actually shared something he learned from it in Priesthood meeting, which means that they were able to understand my Spanish!

Well, I wish I had more time to write.  But just remember, have faith in the Lord!  He will help and you can see miracles!

Love you all,

Elder Jarrett

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, April 20, 2015

First Week in the Field!

Mis amigos!

How are you all?  I hope you are all Fantastic and loving every second of every day!  :D  We are so lucky to have so many blessings from God!  One of which is knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  We are so blessed!  Always strive to include our Heavenly Father in everything you do - strive to live that he could walk beside you at all times, study his words, and pray to him because he wants to hear from you.

I finished my first week in the real life of a missionary!  So my area is...(drum roll) Jardines de Iztapalapa!  It's an Awesome area!  And my trainer is Elder Marsh from Plain City, Utah.  He is district leader over our district and is a great guy and a powerful missionary.

Things are going well here!  Things are always pretty busy in the field.  We taught lots this week.  Many people that we teach say my Spanish is very good for me only being here a week. So that's a bonus.  :)   It was really hard my first couple of days because I couldn't understand anything that people said.  I would just sit there and let my companion teach, then I would bear my testimony.  But it's gotten so much better!  Now I can usually have a good idea of what others say and I can actually help answer their questions and teach what they need to hear.  I am learning really fast, I believe it's all thanks to the gift of tongues and the blessings of God.

Things here are different!  Although, they're already becoming normal to me now already.  So, before I forget, here's a couple things:  There's So many people here.  Also, doors are unlocked by turning the key left, not right.  Next, to knock on a door, you do so with a pen with a pen and then they yell ¿Quien? (Who?) and you respond "Los misioneros" and then they open their doors, or not. 

They have super delicious ice cream here where they hollow out a fruit (orange, apple, pinapple, coconut) and then they fill up the fruit with ice cream of that flavor.  You can only buy them when a certain truck comes by, but I was able to have an orange with orange ice cream inside last week.  It was delicious.  

Well, I'm out of time, but I'll have new adventures to share next week!  I love you all!  Have a Wonderful Week!

(a picture of me and my new companion, Elder Marsh)

Elder Jarrett

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week of the Key

Just because everyone else in the district thought it was important enough to mention in all their emails this week, I'll quickly share a funny thing that happened to me this week.

We all have keys to our closets in our rooms.  I keep mine in my pocket and I like to throw it in the air when I'm walking around.  Last Thursday, I was walking back from dinner throwing it in the air, and then catching it again.  Then I would throw it higher and higher each time.  Hermana Mortensen said, "Don't!  It's going to get stuck in that palm tree."  "Yeah right," I thought.  So I threw it once more, right underneath the tallest palm tree.  I threw it up as high as I could.  And it touched the branch.  And didn't come back down.  It was stuck.  For the next ten minutes, we all threw whatever we could at the tree to knock them loose.  Finally, Elder Tams hit the branch with a dirt clod and the keys fell loose.

The next night, we were standing around after dinner as a district.  I was fidgeting with my key.  All of the sudden, I noticed the key was a little bent.  I showed it to the others and said, "Look my key isn't perfectly straight.  I'll bend it back into shape."  Elder Potter said, "Don't bend it, it will break."  I said, "If it can bend enough to be crooked, it can bend back into shape."  So I applied pressure ever so slightly and... Crack.  My key was broke in two.  

Hermana Anderson thought that these two tales were such good parables for obedience that she wrote and illustrated a little story of my adventures with my key.  

But, lesson learned.  I got my new key and I have not had any new adventures with it yet.

Elder Jarrett

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Almost Conference Weekend!


Hey Everyone!  I hope you are all Super Excited for General Conference this weekend!  I Sure Am!  Possibly more Excited than I've ever been before!  While here at the CCM, we've gotten to listen to so many talks by the apostles and prophets of the Lord.  And while I've listened to some of them before, many of them have inspired me and touched me in ways like never before.  I know it's weird, but I feel like I've grown to know the apostles as friends.  I've listened to them enough that you hear their stories, get to know their personalities, and feel of their testimonies.  As my companion said, "All the apostles have a way with words that no one else has."  And yet, they're all unique!
I know that as you all pray about any questions you have, and then intently listen to General Conference this weekend, you will find answers to your questions.  God loves his children and wants them to know of his Plan for them.  The scriptures are one example of this, and the living prophets are another!  As we listen to the words spoken at General Conference, we can hear the words of God.

This week was a good week here!  And this morning, we got to go see the Mexico City Temple!  The Temple is closed, but we toured the Visitors Center there, which was super cool.  While there, we watched a video on families.  One powerful line I remember is the dad asked his wife after their baby was born, "Do you ever wonder what is the most important thing to teach them? (their kids)"  And his wife responded, "That they are loved.  And that they are a child of God." 
And it's so true!  It made me So grateful for the Incredible parents I have.  I know that I am who I am because of my family.  And I'm so grateful for ALL of you, my friends, and the love that you have all shown to me.  I hope you all know of the love I have for you, and the love our Father in Heaven has for you.  On my mission, I get to share the message of God's Love to people that may not know of it.  But also, I hope all of you will express your love to one another and gratitude for one another.  One of my favorite quotes is: "They do not love that do not show their love."  So show it!  :)

Yesterday, again, we got to welcome the new missionaries to the CCM.  And Hermana Zara Beck from Sky View arrived!  That makes four of us from Sky View here in the CCM!  Which is quite a lot!  I want to get a group picture of us all before we leave, hopefully I can.  Last week, there was close to 150 missionaries that left, and we had about 20 arrive on Wednesday, with a few more the day before.  The officials say there's close to 200 missionaries here now, which is really few for the CCM, I guess.  During the summer, they have close to 1,000.  

Well, anyway, that's all for this week!

I hope y'all are doing Fantastic!  Enjoy Conference this weekend!

Elder Jarrett

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pictures of my Room

Elder Jarrett

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.