Monday, August 30, 2010

Lessons from the Chilango

wow, first off, i just want to say what a great week we have had! i have never been so tested in my life. and most of that test was just with spanish. haha. it has been an incredible experience to be forced to speak spanish. the only times i get english, is when i am reading the book of mormon/ensigns, or when i am writing in my journal. but to me, that is good, i need to be fully involved in the language. before with elder snyder, i didnt have a good grasp on the language, so i thought, and also he did a good load of the teaching, but now since both me and elder leyva are new at this, we both have about an equal share on the teaching. it is fun to teach and to get to know the person for myself, instead of just listening to what they say to my companion.
elder leyva is great. he is very patient with me, and wants to help me improve. and also he has big desires to learn english, so i help him with what i can. luckily its all basics and i can teach those. turns out that english classes werent important to help others or learn english! haha jk complete lie. but neither one of us has been mad at the other for any reason all week, and that has been a blessing. not even one arguement. he is very calm and is good to take a step back and look at the situation. he really helped me understand how to make our monthly poster for our goals. before, it was just numbers that we put up, but now i understand how to make reasonable goals for the month. he has been a very good and positive influence on me, and we are still working hard.
we really struggled to find people this week, and it has been even harder to keep people committed. that is the hardest thing for mexicans i think, is just committing to something and following through. we talked with a member of 65 years or so, and he has really strayed from the path, it was hard to see why he did it, and we told him whats up and what he needs to change, but he still refused. he figured he knew all the basics of the gospel, so he doesnt find any reason to go to church, also he started to get deeper into gospel stuff and got lead away by some other thing, and tried to bring it back in to the gospel and was teaching really bad and wierd stuff at church. so he figured he was better to stay at home and have god with him there only. poor guy...
well the food is still treating me good, and we ate so good friday! a guy from the state of mexico is a relative of one of our members, and he is a professional seafood cook. he came to this ladys house and cooked for all of us. it was incredible!!!!!! im so sad i didnt get a picture with him. he also served a mission and is still involved in his ward. way cool. i sadly broke my bed a few months ago, and so i havent slept good for a while, we ordered in a new bed frame, but who knows when that will come. its not safe to work out on the floor, because of bacteria, and we dont have supplies to clean, so we workout on our beds. after doing pushups one morning, i just dropped on my bed and it broke.... but its all still fine, at least i sleep. my back has been hurting me because of it though.
well that is all the time i have for today my friends, but there will be more coming your way in one week. until then.... stay strong in callings, do what the parents tell you, and love the gospel. we rarely realize how much we actually have. cherish it. i love you!!!
elder facer

Monday, August 23, 2010

And the work goes on...

hey, well sorry i dont have a ton of time to write today, but i just wanted to say that elder snyder is finally gone! jk im actually really sad. first off, because now i have to speak 100 percent spanish with my companion. his name is elder leyva. he is from the state of mexico, a chilango as they call them here. he has 6 months right now, and has had good preparation from his past companion. he is pretty understanding of me and my lack of spanish, and i think we will get along. he is my heigth and has glasses. i have only been with him for a few hours, so i cant tell you a ton about him right now. but i think we will do good things here. who knows if we will be together to finish out this change of 4 weeks, or if we will go for another 10 weeks together.
on sunday, we finally got alberto and his daughter anahi baptized and confirmed! the mom sophia still isnt ready, but her time will come. we spent all day running around the church to get the font filled for the baptism, but the entire church was completely out of water, and the bishop was at the temple all day! here, they just use water storage systems, its sadly nothing like utah. when elder snyder gets back, he wants to come and talk with you all, and you can ask him all the questions you want! haha. i think he will come tuesday or wednesday. he or his mom will probably write you.
i wanted to thank all of you for keeping me updated on whats going on! its really fun to hear what up back home. by the way betsy, we get 3 or 4 inches in about 15 mins. haha its nuts here! i still pray for you all and thank you for your prayers! keep up the good work and remember that we may always be small in numbers, but the lord is on our side, and if we trust in him, all things are possible. i just read the story of nefi and his brothers going back to get the plates from laban, and the brothers were scared that he could command 50 people and slay 50 people himself, but later it says that no matter the number of the army, it is possible with the lord. stay strong in the gospel! i love you all
elder facer

Monday, August 16, 2010

Waiting and Acting

wow, first off, i just want to say thanks to all of you for your letters this week! i thoroughly enjoyed them and had a wonderful time to hear how everything is. tara, practice writing me in spanish now, manuel and lyssa and joseph also. emily or sharon, if you would like to, i would be thrilled to receive letters! haha.
well first off to answer alyssas question, the monsoon season still goes through at least september.... but one lady says that this year has been especially strong. it rains almost everyday, and when we get home, we have to shower or else we will get foot fungus or parasites. Elder Snyder has helped me know how to better take care of my feet, so they are still as beautiful as ever! everything about the water is dirty here....
also my favorite food is probably cecina. its pretty much really thin slices of beef, but i dont know which part etc. they eat it with sour cream {they eat crema with everything!} and usually a green tomato salsa with pinto beans and oaxaca cheese on the side. all the food is so diferent here, especially the basic american dishes. like spaghetti is made with a different sauce and without meat, hamburgers they put a lot of different things on it and the patties are usually storebought and frozen.
well i would have to say some of my goals, are to be meek, patient, submissive to the Lords will, optimistic, etc. when i get a more specific list, i will give it.
This week has been pretty strange. we found about 9 nuevos, and we only got a return appointment with 1, even though we set up the appointments, they just werent there. some of the struggles of the mission. but like i said with my goals, already i am seeing that if i just wait out and keep working hard, that the lord will bless me in some way. but its not just waiting, its waiting and acting, like president uchtdorf says. by the way, that is one of the funniest words for mexicans to say, uchtdorf. haha!!
i have been reading the book of mormon a lot, and have been finding some very good things to help me in every day. i have definitely developed a testimony of praying to receive revelation. even in the odd war stories of the latter part of alma. alma 62 10 was actually a very helpfull scripture for me. also i would like you all to read and ponder on DC 19 17. i dont expect much time, but i would like you to think about it and see if you can find the balance in your lives.
well everything is still going pretty good here, we are just trucking along in elder snyders final week in the mission.... im really scared to find out what president is going to do with me... whether he will give me a new companion mayor, or a kid, or if he will change us both out... but whatever happens, happens for a reason.
thanks for all you do, everyone. i pray for you all, and know that the lord is watching out for you! i love you
elder facer

Monday, August 9, 2010

All dressed in white, and nowhere to go...

i got a good letter from betsy today, and another from jeff. i hope you’re not getting mad at anyone for not writing me. haha everything went super busy this week. we were almost always completely booked with appointments everyday.
bad news. friday while we were helping trinidad and dulce get names for the temple on saturday, the bishops sister, hna andrea she is great, said that it was canceled, because bus plans changed or something lame like that..... so we had to go tell them that they couldnt go..... but we got some other members who were annoyed that called up the bishop and kinda got annoyed at him. its not everyday that members here can go to the temple. but apparently he rescheduled it for the 21. when we heard that, we thought it was too late for trini to go, because he doesnt have work enough to keep him here for 2 weeks longer. but last night, sunday, he stopped by our house to tell us that a member got him good work for as long as he needed, so he could stay and go to the temple in two weeks. we are also hoping that before he goes, he can receive the melchizedek priesthood, i cant spell it anymore....
the ward.... its kinda tough to say how good its doing. i would say that we could have divided probably 3 times if it wasnt for inactive members. we honestly cant even talk to all of them, because there are so many. but because of our hard work, some of the relief society, sociedad de soccorro, are doing their visits again to less actives. absolutely no one goes to do home teaching or visiting teaching. only some families do fhe. we dont really have ward council, which we need, but we talk with the bishop of what we are doing.. almost no one prepares a lesson here. i think that is the hardest part, is that if we are bringing investigators to church, and they want to feel the spirit, and cant because a lesson isnt prepared and pretty much all are apostate, so its hard for us to keep investigators in church. we have tried to adress this in our talks in sacrament meeting, and talking with the bishop, but nothing happens. also the bishop pretty much refuses to give callings, becuase that is a lot more work on his part..... or else this ward would be booming. no joke1
actually for sacrament meeting yesterday, it was a national heroes birthday who was born right here in anenecuilco, named emiliano zapata salazar, and sadly a lot of the members went to that party instead of going to church, like alyssas spanish ward, for a soccer games. but on wednesday, the bishop talked to us and said we are giving a talk, but we both thought that it was only one of us, and so only elder snyder prepared a talk. in sacrament meeting, the bishop stood up and said that elder facer will speak first.................uhhh........... so i stood up, practically shaking, and talked. i would definately say that the spirit put words into my mouth. i felt like i was babbling, because i was pretty nervous {not embarasado} but after, there were so many members that came up to me and thanked me for what i had said. also speaking of that, there have been some good lessons, where i have just been promped to share my testimony, or be bold and challenge someone, and because i followed the prompting, they came through!
one of our investigators who got baptized yesterday is named francisco. he is about 6 foot 3, and used to smoke and drink like crazy! but before we came over, he just decided to stop drinking {but what he didnt know was that his wife and daughter who are members were fasting for him} and as soon as we challenged him to stop smoking, he stopped on the first day! i cant even believe how hard that would be!!! but he and his son francisco got baptized and confirmed yesterday, along with two little girls who complete their family and will probably reactivate their parents, marta y fernanda, and also a mom who was not a member, cecilia but had two kids that were. we were so close to baptizing a perfect family alberto, sophia, with their kids anai, and cesar, but cesar only had 6 years. they were all in white and in the service, but sophia has always had fear of doing it. she knows its right, but is just afraid and wont do it. we told her the only way that will leave, is if you stop being afraid{ following satan} and get baptized {following christ} but when she was in white, in the room, she said no. because she said no, her daughter and husband backed out also, so everyone could get baptized on the same day...... kinda frustrating but somewhat understandable. she just needs to act on faith and do it! because we really dont have any other plans of what we can do to help her.... we have given her a blessing, fasted with her, shown her movies, taught her all the lessons everything!!!! but nothing has worked yet.
well actually it is zone conference every three months. but every month in between that, we have interviews with our President. we are the only two elders that cover these some odd 10 pueblos around here, but we are only 15 minutes away from other elders in cuautla. we go there every monday for district meeting. it is so much nicer to stay away from other immature elders and just stay focused on the work, and not get involved in the mission gossip.
well thanks for all you all do, and i hope everything is well, and that everyone is safe. joseph dont break the poor little joker. haha and tara dont crash. love you all and hope everything is well!!!
elder facer

Monday, August 2, 2010

The final days of Elder Snyder...

Wow! what a crazy good week! we have been busy like crazy with our investigadores and getting all NINE of them ready for baptism next week!!!!! so amazing. also they will have an incredible experience of being able to go to the temple this coming saturday!! we can allow a certain number of our investigadores to go, because the bishop had a little extra money on the budget that he wanted to help us out with. so we are sending alberto, his wife sofia, their two sons anai, and cesear; francisco, his wife julia, and their son and daughter paco and myreley. julia and myreley are members. also trinidad and his wife dulce; and two other ladies, possibly, rocio, and lucia. i will be so lucky, because the family of alberto, the family of francisco, and the family of trinidad will all be able to go to the temple at my year ish mark. elder snyder says that never happens that you baptize 3 complete families in your first area. im so excited.
also on saturday, we had a baptism for a nine year old girl named alondra, she is such an incredible girl! she couldnt sleep the night before her baptism, because she was so excited. the baptism went pretty well, i performed the ordinance and sadly we had to do it twice, because she kicked her feet up. haha. but everything went well.
Everything is still going good. we are now in the rainy season, well for the past two weeks, and my book of mormon and bible are about ruined from the dirty rain. they are still usable, and still have the same words, so i guess i cant complain too much. i was just hoping to keep them somewhat nice for a while instead of only two months into the mission... we get nasty big monsoons almost everyday. except for the last week, it was pretty nice. the monsoons would hit about 1:30, or 2 oclock everyday, which always put us behind for getting to lunch at 3, and then that puts all our citas for the rest of the day behind. the streets fill up like river rapids, when elder snyder gets home, he will show you the pictures. everyday it rains, we get completely drenched from head to toe, but its ok. it made me laugh when you wrote me mom and said what do you think about the country.... because everyday, i see someone doing something illegal. and the cops just dont do anything about it. its not usually dangerous, but just something wrong. ususally if the cops dont do something about it, they probably know its the narco, drug lord, or its a gang thing. we dont really have gangs here, but gang stuff goes on. the cops are afraid, and so the only ones who deal with narcos and gangs are the army. its kinda crazy to see a regular everyday convenience store get checked by the army. they post out to check incoming trucks.
everyone is still in crazy poverty, but they always have something to give the missionaries. its hard to take it sometimes, but if you dont, you are seriously offending them...
well elder snyder has 20 days until he leaves the area, so we hope. we are both hoping president doesnt change one of us out before he leaves. we both want me to kill elder snyder, my father. did you ever get a call from sister snyder? if not, she will call some time soon. just plan that it will be sunday the 29 of august for his welcome home.
ya i hear from a few of the aunts once in a while, maryjo gives a pretty good monthly update kinda thing, and em is nice to just send a little letter. but im sad to not have heard from betsy or sharon much. maybe a little letter from grandma and grandpa would be nice?
ya i have tried the plastic sack to cover my scriptures inside my backpack many a time, but there really is just too much water. i will just have to suck it up and move forward until the monsoons are over. Have a list of questions ready next week and I’ll spend the whole time answering them. I love you all!