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