Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2 Week Catch Up

well good afternoon all my family and friends. it was good to see
some of you yesterday, and to be able to write you today. there is
quite a lot to tell about because i have two weeks to catch up on and
a lot of great experiences that keep building my testimony more and
more every day. im not really organized in my thoughts, so please
forgive me if i starts to get pretty confusing and out of order.

well all is well here in cuernavaca, we just got back from a rigorous
hike to the tepozteco for 3 hours, we ate fabulous tacos of cesina
with itakates, and tlacoyos. haha, i probably wont even be able to
tell you what they are without my pictures, but i left the extension
cord at home. we also had tepoznieves. its pretty much like ice
cream but they have over 130 flavors and it was incredible. we went
with a family in the ward that has been really nice to us, and are so
much fun. they all say high, and also, later, i will send pics of
them. we will eat with them for new years. speaking of that mom,
could you somehow communicate with clarissa or her mom to ask for the
chocolate bunt cake with kissables. she knows the one. if not,
mention to her its the one we ate after getting kicked out of state in
high school soccer. haha. i told them how wonderful the cake was and
they asked if i oculd get the recipie. they are big chocolate fans
too.

these past two weeks have had their ups and downs. we have been
finding a few more than usual, but we werent having the lessons with a
member present that we were hoping for, then the next week, or member
lessons went up and our finding and challenging for baptism were going
down, so i think that after finding the two extremes, we will ahve a
great balanced out week this time around. elder sonntag and i have
gotten in little quarrels that were easily, usually, worked out, and
sometimes they lasted a little longer. i think its because i am too
meticulous(i cant remember how to say it) and i always let the little
things pick at me, and for some of those reasons, we had a few
arguements. nothing that we couldnt work out. we werent able to
baptize these last two weeks, but are hopefully planning one for this
week for miguel. yesenia had a problem, and we havent been able to
see her all week. a few members have talked with her, and they think
that she just isnt ready to leave her party life behind. but we will
keep working with her. in my personal study, i have been reading in
joshua of the old testament, and also in doctrine and covenants, and i
have learned a ton in d&c. maybe not so much about the story, buy i
have learned a lot of very important scriptures that have helped me a
lot. like d&c 42.61 I dont have them all memorized right now to write
their references, but if i remember next week, ill share them. this
week, we also have been working with an ex missionary and his wife.
it is a cool experience to be working with them, moises and stefania.
he got home from his mission, and was a powerhouse, he actually served
in the mexico north mission, and one of his last areas was apasco
hidalgo. he is elder ramirez ramirez. after a while, his non member
father, got to him by peer pressure, and got him to drink a little,
then in the end met stef, and well... they are now living together and
are not married waiting for a baby to come. he has been inactive
since hanging with his dad, and when we got with him, he shared that
he felt that we got there in the right time to make the difference.
stef is also progressing, and they went to church yesterday with us!
it was a huge success, and we are feeling the joy of bringing, not
only investigators, but inactive member back, and they are excited. i
really do love the missionary work, serving others always brings about
such a great joy that really changes who we were, into what god wants
us to be.

it made me laugh when you said that alyssa knew me in jr
high, because i thought about sticking pennies to my forehead in 7th
period english with mrs. jones and calling myself pennyman! haha. so
wow have i changed. also an emeritus seventy of our ward had his son
over and we ate with them. his son asked if i had been a leader in
the mission, because of how well i behaved and mature i acted. he
said that i was a powerful missionary from the scripture i shared.
its not to brag that i say this, but just to show that there really
has occurred a grand change in me, and i love it. i hope to be able
to continue with it all my life, and keep learning more.

so mom, can i be enrolled in uvu and be a partial student at byu for
the spanish class, or is it one or the other? i asked for ideas of
what i could major in, because i think i will need to put goals on
what i hope to achieve in 1 yr, 5 yrs, and 10 yrs. so if its possible
to get any carreer written down to to start with some kind of plan, it
would be nice. i dont need a lot of answers about it yet, but in
about a month, he will ask me to start thinking and setting these
goals.

well i lovce you all, and am thankful for your support, well for the
little you gave me yesterday, haha just kidding. it was fun to see
you, and motivating. ill keep working strong, and i ask that you also
give your best to the lord. i love you all. until next week.
elder facer

Monday, December 19, 2011

Darn that computer...



mom, im sorry, i had a lot of stuff written, and when i went to save
it, it was all erased. i didnt send it, and i dont know what
happened, and i dont have time to write any more...... so just to be
quick, i will be getting on skype at 3:30pm mexico time, which is
2:30 your time. i will also have my msn messenger account open, if
there are any problems, we can talk quick over it, or you can email me
at this account. im sorry it was a good letter, but for some reason
it was erased.... so i guess with this we will have to wait until
sunday to talk. im prayin for you all!
elder facer

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gifts of Service

hey! im really sorry for the last few weeks that it has been hard to write, we are still trying to find the time to do all that we needed to do, and it made it really hard. but this next week, i think we will have the schedule down good to be able to write with plenty of time. this week has been pretty crazy. we have been planning and rehearsing for our zone service project, and for a sunday night choir devotional. monday night, thursday in the morning, and sunday before the concert. thursday we had the service project and we went to a retirement home, a home with older people with problems, and their family just stopped taking care of them, so they are in a pretty rough state, but were very happy and fun to receive us, well those that were able to recieve us. we sang 4 hymns, and they asked for an encore haha, so we sang silent night in the end without any practice and with parts, so it wasnt so good. but they didnt know, they only heard the words hopefully. i sang the tenor part to the songs, and it was fun.
i really miss singing in groups like this. then after singing, we went and painted the two main hallways, and the kitchen, and the cafeteria. with 22 missionaries, and president with his wife, it went by pretty quick. we finished it all in about 3 hours and were out by 2pm. then sunday, we were running around like crazy with the assistants and the secretaries for our food appointment. we ate together, because a member from their ward lives in atzingo,(but goes to palmas) and the ladys daughter goes to our ward, so they scheduled the same day to give us all together, so we had to find the assistants and take them there, because i was the only one that knew where the sister lives, so we got there late, and ate mexican steaks! they have nothing to compare to dad´s, but it was meat and not chicken. so i was pretty happy. they are such a cool and good family too. but that means that we were really late getting to practice because the food was really far away. but the devotional was really fun. it reminded me of what we did in the ward when i was little every year, and it was a good reminder of the experience of the savior. we had a rough day at church, because all of the 12 really good progressing investigators that we were hoping would go to church, didnt go, so we only had yesenia. the good thing is she will be baptized this friday! we will also have a ward dinner on friday after her baptism. this week was pretty nuts with all the parties going on, and the festival of the virgin mary, or guadalupe, the lordes mother of mexico as she is known here. sad... it was pretty hard to sleep all the week because of fireworks and parties, bands playing in the street etc all night long. a lot of drunks and fights, but nothing happened to us. well as you all heard about, the earthquake was bad, but nothing happened to us. we had just sat down to have a fhe with a family, and as we were about to start, we heard it in the distance. it was by far the biggest one of the three i have felt, but it was only like .7 more than the other two, but it made a difference after getting above 6.0. elder sonntag was happy and laughing about it, because it was his first shake, but it took him a while to realize what was going on. but all is well, nothing happened in cuernavaca as far as i have heard, and all is well.
well we are still working with maritza and diana, they didnt go to church, so they will have to wait another week to be baptized, and neither did our usual frequent investigators go. its crazy to see how hard satan works on the people we teach. the husband of a member has gone with her to church for 8 years, not constantly, but the weekend that we teach him for the first time, they get in a big fight and he went with his family instead of going to church. so its hard, but we will hopfully see him tonight. he is luis, please pray for him too. we are really trying to find new ways to teach the members how to do their part in the work, and teach them how to find their friends and neighbors that are ready for the gospel. thats what we are focusing on this week, and the next month is teaching them their responsibilities as disciples of christ. well i thank you all for your letters this week, im sorry that i wasnt able to write back, because it didnt give me time, but next week, i will be on top of it.
and mom, i hope you could read that letter by alfredo, he had a rough experience of leaving the church, but is finally back, and recieved the priesthood this last week, with plans with his girlfriend to go on missions!! its so interesting how God knows when to convince some of his children... i love you all, and i cant wait to hear from you soon, or see you on skype!
elder facer

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reminders from home, except for the First Presidency message


well, im sorry to be writing so late, our new schedule is kinda rough with time. the only thing we need to do is go to costo to buy a lot of food for elder sonntag, and bring it home, so the other missionaries dont ask questions, complain etc. but wow did it eat up our time. it was really fun, because we ate there, and i had a hot dog. it reminded me so much of when we went to costco with mom and ate afterwards. good times. haha. we played a little basketball today, and also practiced singing a few songs for the zone.
we are doing a service project this week, and a part of that will be singing in a retirement home. also we will sing the same songs in a stake mission activity. they are oh come all ye faithfull, away in a manger, and two other songs that i cant remember the names in english.
haha. its funny to see how much im forgetting. some members in atzingo that speak english, said that i speak english with a mexican accent. haha it makes me laugh everytime i think of it. i have a feeling youre all going to make fun of me when i get home.
this week was a little bit harder, because we had lot of appointments fall that were important lessons with members present. but we did get many other lessons in. we had a few fhe lessons, and had a little success, but are hoping for much more in this week. we worked hard and had a lot of good success, but need to work on the other appointments so that they dont fall. we are also working out in the mornings at a near by park, and it has felt really good, but really tiring. after fasting, and working out in the morning, i about threw up, so luckily i didnt. we also made huevos a la mexicana this morning, and that was the best prepared breakfast that i have had in a long time. the stake president talked to me yesterday to plan and accompany us to a fhe this week with a family that he has chosen. its good to hear that he is interested in whats going on with the stake mission plan and wants to help. also yesterday we had a first presidency christmas fireside, and had a few investigators there. i dont know if they have it in utah, because i dont think that i ever saw one of those before, it was really good, but the transmittion is always a little sketchy.
it really is hard to think that it was that long ago when i started the mission, and i dont really remember you crying like you said sister day cried. haha but it has sure gone by quick. well mom, dont worry, after writing you last week, and getting to the district meeting, my package was there waiting for me! with all thirty two wonderful christmas cards in it, and what a suprise it was to find that book by elder oaks. that was a really nice gift, but the only problem is that in the mission we cant read those books, only the missionary library.... but i will keep up well reserved for when i get home. also the great pics of tara in the state championships. i was waiting for those! haha. well, i can actually call you at the time you want. the 25 we have changes, but i know that i am staying with elder sonntag, so if you want i can call at night, like 7 or 8 my time(because i dont know what time it is in utah).
well all is well here, and i just wanted you to please be praying for our invesigators, especially maritza and diana who might be baptized this week. thanks to all of you that wrote me a christmas letter in my package. it was very sweet, and i still need to finish reading the rest of them, but just know that you are thanked. well i have to go now. i love you all, and cant wait to see you on christmas, or hear from you soon!
elder facer

Monday, November 28, 2011

dedication




hey, im sorry about last week, it was crazy and complicated because it
was a national holiday and practically the whole city was shut down.
last week, we went to a group of pyramids called xochicalco
(socheecalco for all you gringos) and it was a blast! we got burnt a
little, but it was worth it. we took a ton of pics, and ill send some
today so you can post them. i feel bad that i havent sent pics in a
long time, i hope you at least had pics of me to see in my blog. last
week, we baptized german! our first week in the area, and we start
baptizing, it feels so good, and it builds the members trust to see us
get right to work. german was very excited and very well prepared.
sadly he didnt get confirmed, because his baptism was after the
services, and the bishop, after telling me that he would be confirmed,
changed his mind, so we will have to wait till next week. also we had
to talk in church, which i felt was very good and spiritual. in the
ward, the first councelor, ex mission president and ex seventy, pres.
gaona, congratulated me on my talk for being very sincere and simple,
and right to the point. that was fun to hear from someone like that.
and i think the ward is going to be great. in the last two weeks, we
have been able to meet a lot of the ward, and who the leaders are to
go work with them. we are starting the fhe thing and have had some
success, as well as more excitement from the leaders. i think this is
whats really going to get this ward going like it should. this week,
we finished the baptisms and confirmations of german and two of his
daughters: gina, and jenny. they are 10 and 8, but adorable! it was
so much fun to watch them giggling and bouncing in their chairs during
the baptismal service waiting to be baptized. everything went well,
and they were all confirmed, and german received the aaronic
priesthood! we are slowly moving along. luckily german has been well
accepted into the ward, and even if he wasnt, he would keep going. he
is very independant, and is dedicated when he wants to be, so he is
doing really good, and happy to give a good example to his daughters.
the ward is pretty good to accept and welcome new people. this last
week, we had 7 in church, and almost all of them saw someone they knew
and felt really happy to be there. we have been receiving a lot of
references this last week of people that are ready to be taught.
sadly they have had to go through many hard times to get there, but
they are finally there! yesenia is one of them. we found her
saturday, because she is the neighbor of a member, and he is way cool,
even went to church. she had a hard marriage, where her husband beat
her, and didnt help at all with the kids, etc. jsut hard, but she is
so excited to start praying and talking to christ for the comfort.
this week we will challenge her for baptism for the 17 of december.
please be praying for her, and also that she can find work. we have
found a lot of dry members(investigators with years of going to
church, but never getting baptized) that we found this week, and seem
like they could top it off. one of my best converts, sonia in
acapulco, was a dry member that felt the spirit and changed
immediatly. they are luis, minerva, and margarita. we also found a
super golden family this week, thanks to the zone leaders, they are
the mom, reyna, and her two daughters that are listening to us,
maritza and diana. so great! reyna also needs your prayers to stop
smoking, and she is working hard. they all went to church twice and
are progressing for baptism of the 10th!
elder sonntag is doing really well, and we havent really had any
arguments or problems, we just need to get better on teaching a little
quicker, which comes with speaking better spanish. he has had some
stomach problems since the time he entered in the mtc, and this last
week we went to the doctors to see what was up, we did a few tests,
and will see probably this week the results. he is really excited,
and very dedicated to working hard. while he was in the doctors
office with hna. spannaus, me and president got to talk about the
area, comps, and future plans. when adam miller goes over, pres tells
him hi. he explained a few concepts of the importance to study and
get a good education first, and then work hard. i have been trying to
prepare myself to study hard, now, so i can go back and be diligent.
i ask for your prayers, in this time as i try to find what i desire,
and what i dont desire. thats what president explained that i have to
do to find out what i want to study. so lets see how it goes! if you
have any suggestions, im completely open. haha.
mom, what you mentioned about grandpa brig mitchell, you know, its not
the first time i have thought about that. i have read helaman 5:6 a
few times, and i always think to when you named me brigham in his
behalf. its touching, as well as being words of caution. i know who
i need to live up to, and what my name is, or who my name is. it
really makes me want to be better, and try so much harder to leave it
all on the field! i have been working so hard to stay focused, and i
actually dont think about home that much. when it comes, i quickly
change my thought, and get focused again. thank goodness for short
memory. haha! just kidding. i really do love the missionary work, and
am so grateful to be here. i hope that i can do all that the lord is
expecting of me in this, my last area, and with elder sonntag, who
might be my last companion. its intersting to be in this position, to
be one of the older guys, or leaders of the mission. all is going
well, and im still working hard, and i will until the very last day of
the mission. thanks for the quote by elder holland. cant wait of the
package!
love you all, and thank you for your support and prayers. thank you
all who have helped be get to where i am, spiritually, emotionally,
physically, and financially. thanks maryjo and sharon and emily for
your help. it really means a ton. i really do love you all, and i
thank you for what you have done to get me here. take good care, and
we will talk next week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Come What May, and Love It

well, i guess i will start out letting you know about changes. elder solomon stays in atzingo with an elder that has about 15 months in the mission and i got changed to the area on the side of atzingo, one of the biggest in the entire mission, called la pradera. i am with a missionary that has 5 months in the mission, and has just completed his training. he is from holiday utah, and his name is elder sonntag.
he is like 6 foot 4, and likes to rock climb! haha. i barely know him, but he started in acapulco, right when i left, and had a really good trainer. i am really excited to be with him, and during the week, we will take a picture and ill send it to you.
well we finally baptized and CONFIRMED someone. it was mariana, the fiancee of our old ward mission leader luis. she was great, and passed her interview with flying colors. in her baptism, there were only eight people, all that she wanted. her, luis, elder solomon and i, her future in laws, and her close friends, adan and mayela. elder solomon and i sang a song of oh my father, first verse to the original tune, the second, i sang the original and he sang it to the tune of come thou fount of every blessing, and the third was a melody of come thou fount. it was really cool, and we were commented on our song.
later, she was confirmed on sunday and it was really good! yesterday was the first time i had ever blessed the sacrament in spanish, i will admit, i was a little nervous, but tried hard to be slow and emphasize it differently than everyone else. it was nice. the funny thing was i really didnt have to say goodbye to anyone, because we well share the same church building, and i will continue to see them all. the only hard thing was that we had to get to know the area of pradera, because its huge! we are going to open it, and we didnt know anything about it or where we lived etc.....
we tried to work hard this week, but it just didnt work how we hoped it would, to be able to find 25 people . we worked hard and had some success, but we jsut couldnt find some people we wanted, or really get ahold of guillermo again. so im sad to have to leave some things undone, but what else can i do... just keep a smile on and keep working so that i can have the spirit and work hard. appearantly there are a few possible baptisms this week that the sisters left us, so we will see if we can get the members to help us get around and start to know the area.
well i ask for your prayers, to help us be guided by the spirit in this new and huge area. pray for baptisms this week for us, and as well as joseph, he said they could baptize 5!im proud of him. its rough, and he said he might have a tough companion, from guerrero, but im excited for him. baptizing is what keeps a companionship happy and funcional. love you all, and thanks for writing. take good care.
elder facer

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fasting brings miracles

wow, well i dont know where to start. i have had an incredible week,
and as i can hear, so have all of you! alyssa is having good progress
on her finger, all of my nieces and nephews are wonderful and growing
super quickly, and everyone else is working hard to complete with
their family responsibilities and the lords. that makes me so happy
and proud to have been born into this family that has been growing and
learning for over 5 generations in the church! its humbling and so
spiritual to see how the lord has decided to bless me with my
situations and trials. congratulations to tara for being nominated to
be a leader for your team! its a big responsability, but as you pray
for love for your team, and how best to guide them, they will all
follow you and respect you. its cool to see you recognizing your
attributes and trying to apply them. also it was good to hear from
joseph this week. he is doing good, and is happy to be in the work.
thanks scott for your letter, and emily, alyssa, betsy, and shauna.
it really does my heart so good to see all the support that i have, in
the hard and good times of the work. thanks also to bishop williams
for his letter and inspiring words.
well, this week, we worked hard, and really tried to stay focused on
working and having a lot of appointments. we did! and because of
that, we had a huge blessing which i am going to talk about later in
the letter. haha so you will have to wait.
elder solomon and i have been working on our teaching style to learn
how to be better united. chapter ten of pmg is amazing for our
teaching abilities and has changed the way i teach. elder snyder was
very smart to start me off with that and i have tried to finish it off
with elder solomon. we also had a wonderful zone conference that
talked about it. i cant remember if i told you that we are having
zone conference this week, its wierd not being zone leader and hearing
about all this stuff a month before, now i only hear about it a week
or two before. i was incredibly impacted by the conference this time.
usually president repeated the conferences from last year, so i went
thinking i knew what he was going to talk about, but i was made
humble, and was taught a ton! the spirit was definately there, and
taught us what we needed to change, and how to better ourselves in the
lords work. president asked us three questions at the end that really
impacted me they were: how will i know if i love the lord? how will i
know if i am his true disciple? how will i know if i know the lord? we
had to answer them with straight scriptures and were taught a lot. we
need to keep the commandments and serve our fellow man to really
answer those questions. it taught me what i need to do and how i am
doing in my spiritual progress. then hermana spannaus talked about our
desires from elder oaks talk in conference of may. she brought out a
lot of good quotes and points, and taught me how to have righteous
desires that will make me a better servant of the lord, and help those
around me. she gave examples in the book of mormon of missionaries
and captain moroni. it was cool the planning and preparation that
each of them had to receive the help of the lord, as well as their
faith that the lord would work miracles in their lives.
now i will talk about our miracle. saturday we started our fast and
decided to fast that the investigators we had would go to church,
because that is a stastistic that we are really lacking right now in
all the mission, i imagine in all the world. so we worked really hard
for them to teach them the importance of church and the sacrament, and
had to respect the agency of a few people, but as sunday morning
approached, we started working even harder and had a prayer in our
hearts for the investigators. we went looking for them for about
1-1/2 hours and a lot of people told us that they were going to go,
and most of them went. saturday night we taught a family that some
inactive members had given us, and the inactives and their referral
went, and three families we went to also went! in the end we had 13
investigators in church! a super miracle, i think its the most in
sacrament meeting ive ever had. so we knelt down and thanked the lord
for his merciful hand and for allowing these, his children, to
progress at this time. i know the hardest sacrifices we give to the
lord, results in wonderful blessings, but when he gives them. i was
very humbled and touched to see how the lord is still working in such
a hard area for us. there are no bad areas in the mission, they all
have been blessed by the lord to be ready to be harvested! i know
its true, and now i dont really want to leave the area! there is so
much work to be done here. the members were really excited to see
our work, and alot wanted to help and offered it in this next week!
this is the lords work. i feel it so deep within my heart, and i know
he is the good shepard. he directs this work, and knows us personally
and what we need to keep going. i love him, and am now working to get
to know him better.
by the way rosy, from acapulco says hi, and as well as emmanuel, elder
snyders convert who went for his endowments last weekend! so great.
by the way, by the way, we usually dont do much in church, its a
ward, and we teach gospel principles class and help in priesthood. we
have two decent organists from the ward, so neither of us play, but
maybe in a baptism. speaking of baptisms, mariana will be baptized
this week, she is the future wife of or ex ward mission leader and is
super prepared. she is way excited, and we made her program last
night
love you all! thanks for your prayers and love. its great to hear
from you all, and that all is well, i cant wait to see you in 7 weeks
for christmas, but im not waiting too much on it, because there are
more details during with our investigators. have a wonderful week! i
love you all
elder facer

Monday, October 31, 2011

Guillermo's Baptism (and a quick smoke out of habit)

good afternoon family!
well all is going well here in atzingo. we had a very quick week,
because we were booked with appointments all week all day long, so it
didnt leave us with much time to contact or find new investigators,
but i have finally found out why it is so important to use the
members! we went to a sisters house that has been looking pretty
excited has helped out a little, but never really had any
responsabilities in the missionary work. we visited her andher son
with his wife and talked to them about inviting some friends over to a
family home evening. they gave us some names, and we all prayed for
who of their friends could be good to invite and start the lessons.
they felt a few names in particular and went to invite them. on
friday we had the fhe and 15 of their friends showed up, many were
whole famliies! it was a decent lesson, but the best part is that
everyone had a good time and was pretty willing to hear more later!
so even though we didnt go looking that much, we had a big success
there and will start looking into these famliies this week. it was
nice because the sister´s sons are inactive and they were all there
for the fhe. what elder ballard said is true and has been put to use
a little now. we have tried it with two member families and we have
started to work our way out. its going good. just like joseph said,
if we loose ourselves in the lords work, and let him change our
attitude, it makes the difference.
i was also glad to hear that mom and dad had a wonderful conference
and really felt the spirit. i hope to visit you in mexico soon
enough! haha. we will all just start speaking spanish in the house so
you learn quicker. im glad that you are considering it. i have
already made the decision with for my future wife that we will serve
at least one mission for the lord as a couple. so i have started
thinking about jobs, family, school etc for the future and president
spannaus said to wait to think about it till i have 2 months left,
then we will set goals and start thinking. i hope that we all can
think like mom and dad to prepare ourselves now and make the
preparations to serve when the time is right.
well this week, we struggled for guillermos baptism, and finally got
him baptized! we were with him almost everyday in the week, except
for friday, because he had a soccer game with friends. so after the
fhe, we stopped by his field to watch, but the game was already over,
and to our shock, we found him with a cigarrette in his hand....... we
were devastated, and went to talk to him. we organized an appointment
for the next morning after playing soccer with the ward to talk. he
went to play and meet some members, then we talked aobut what
happened. he mentioned that his brother asked him to hold the
cigarrette and withou thinking, lifted it up to his mouth and smoked,
as an old habit, then after the first smoke we called his name. we
told him to repent and not get up until he felt forgiven of the lord.
after talking with him, we called presidete spannaus for his counsel
and he pretty much tlaked us through the situation and left the
decision up to us, so we tlaked and realized that he is ready for his
baptism. the service went well, just that there were only 4 members
there, and his family that was invited. but it was a good service.
sadly he disappeared and we couldnt get ahold of him for his
confirmation yesterday, even though he knew the importance of
completing his baptism. so we will confirm him next week, and the
week afterthat, the week of changes, we might have three baptisms, but
one for sure, mariana! all is well now hat the area is progressing,
an we are finding more membe help. all is well with elder solomon,
just that we are trying to change his speach habits. he says um more
that i ever have in my life, so be thankful mom that i wasnt so bad,
haha just kidding. its also hard for me to have patience with him now
that i have taken it out of my speach, but we are getting better.
all is well in zion, and mom, i will take in notice your advice to ask
for, and look for the miracles that the lord is putting everyday in my
life. i need to be more willing to stop on the streets sometimes and
talk to someone than i have been doing. so i will rmember that. i
also read an incredible talk by elder maxwell yesterday called
consecrate thine actions, from december 2008, i think. it was very
inspiring, and taught me how to better dedicate myslef to the lord,
and give him my agency as i have covenanted that i would. so it was a
very good reminder.
thanks for your support and love and prayers, it was so good to hear
from you all. love you, and im also praying for you!
elder facer

Friday, October 28, 2011

An email from Hno. Stocking

Hola Elderes de Mexico!
It's been a while since i have written you all! Well, things are going well for me. No going to lie, these last few months have been such a big test for me. I moved from Provo to Knoxville Tennessee in August. I am pursuing a PhD in psychology. There are many times where I question myself and what I am doing, but I know I have my Heavenly Father to help me along the way. He has humbled me so much here. but in the end I have realized it has been so I could put my full trust in Him and my brother Jesus Christ. That realization hasn't come without some doubt. With out some kicking and screaming. And with out some serious one and ones with my Heavenly Father. It's a constant battle everyday for a piece of Heaven. I am so proud of you all for all you have gone through and done to serve the Lord. Keep up the great work.
About six months before leaving for grad school, I met my sweetheart. He name is Helena. She is half greek, half brazilian. She was born in Brazil, but raised in Miami Florida. She and I will be married the 17th of December this year in the Orlando Temple. I am so excited! Having her in my life has changed it for the best. Seek to have it, boys but by no means rush it:) I love you all so very much. I am now almost fluent in Portuguese! Boy that was a hard process to get use to. It made me appreciate the good ol MTC days and struggle of learning a language. I look forward to hearing from a few of you soon as your mission will shortly becoming to a conclusion!
Con amor,
Ben Stocking
509 987 2432

Monday, October 24, 2011

Overwhelmed from pork brains...?




a common breakfast, or bruch meal. chilaquiles y huevo

wow, i feel overwhelmed with all that is going on in the house!
congratulations to tara, for winning state, and for having good
progress with physical therapy. also to joseph for having a great
week. scott and alicia for having two adorable kids in front of the
temple, thanks mom, that was gorgeous! haha. also alyssa and manuel
for a sweet baby that is starting to walk! to mom and dad for
following the spirit and inviting barbara to act and always being
there for someone who needs you.
well, we have had a good week, with some good progress, and some
disappointments, but we just wont worry too much about those. this
week i have to start off saying that we ate pork brain tacos! haha it
was pretty wierd to know what i was eating, but it was fine, kinda a
green and white color... haha! we were trying to work with an
inactive family who needs to return to church because a lot is going
bad for them. we are trying to help them, but they just cant organize
themselves good enough to give us a half hour. we ate the tacos with
them. this week we also had stake conference with elder delgado of
the seventy. he seemed very serious, but did very well on his talks.
he also organized a meeting with the recent converts and investigators
to teach them a little more about baptism. we talked about 2 nephi
31:17-20 and picked apart the scriptures. it was nice, because it
wasnt so much to bash on other churches or teach that we are right,
but just teach what the book of mormon is. during the conference, the
speakers talked a lot on prayer and the book of mormon. it went
really good, and i really felt the spirit. sadly guillermo didnt go,
and i will talk more about him later.
we picked up a lot more investigators this week, because we decided to
go back to a few old investigators and see how they are doing, and
they accepted us well and look like they could progress. we are also
trying to work with the members as much as we can to get them to
invite their friends and family to a family night and be able to teach
them. we are moving slowly but surely with that.
well guillermo still didnt get baptized because of the conference.
the only day that he had free was saturday and in the afternoon, but
all the leaders taht had to be in the baptism couldnt make it because
of the conference, so we had to postpone it a little, we will try to
do it the quickest we can next week just so we dont give satan as much
time to work with him. we are also going to try to work with his wife
aby and maybe his sister in law noemi to get them baptizd on the same
day.
sorry its just that i dont have a ton of time today, because im trying
to send pictures also, so i will have to end it here now, we will be
having zone conference in these next two weeks, so ill be giving
details on that. we need to prepare by reading the living christ, and
the activity on page 133 of preach my gospel. sorry thats in spanish
haha. the activity is at the end of chapter six about christlike
attributes and how we feel we are doing. i recommend it for a fhe.
well, keep praying for guillermo, abigail, noemi, laura, and mariana.
lets pray for a big miracle so that they all can be baptized this
week! thanks for your love and support, i love hearing from you all,
and i know that the lord is guiding your steps and every moment in the
day. trust in him as joseph has done, and let him mold you as i am
also trying to be humble and let him continue to change me. have a
great week!
elder facer

Monday, October 17, 2011

Come What May, and Love It

man, i think that the more away i am from home, and the closer i get
to getting home, is making everything a little more touching.
especially to hear about all the wonderful changes that are happening
at home. all of you give me so much faith and courage in the lord
jesus christ to keep going and push through our trials and experiences
to grow. its so wonderful to see that kids like canyon are going to
church in a white shirt and tie, memorizing their talks and really
starting to learn the gospel of jesus christ at only age four!! way to
go scott and alicia, your doing a great job. and im proud of your
example of how to raise a family in the gospel, as well as mom and
dad, cant leave them out. haha. ill return to why that impacted me in
a little, because we found a family this last week that needs this
family support in the gospel. also i love hearing about andrew and
savanna in their prime growing ages and what all is changing. they
seem like wonderful kids, and i cant wait to meet them, well andrew, anyway.
im also proud of tara for her fhe lesson, and being such an influence
on her team to keep going and give it all they can. im rootin for ya!
well, we have had a rough week, but it was a good rough week. we had
a lot of progress, but a lot of disappointments. but what can you do
about it. ever since i read the talk by elder wirthlin about come
what may and love it, over a year ago, i have frequently been reminded
of it to stay positive. at times its hard, and as elder ballard
mentioned here in civac, whenever i feel weighed down or that my
burden is heavy, i look at a painting of jesus on golgotha, or in the
mount of olives, and i dont feel weighed down anymore. i have little
by little tried to apply that and i have noticed that its real. last
monday night, we also had a fhe with a family that are neighbors to a
family of our ward that are really trying to work hard. adan, served
his mission in ogden, and his wife, mayela is a convert of 3 years,
she is a professional basketball player in mexico. this family is
new, and have had problems in past families, so adan invited them over
to read the family:a proclamation to the world and have a good time.
later we talked with the dad, ricardo, and he explained to us his
business and where he stands religiously. he is the president of a
business that he invented 22 years ago called WOSS world on security
systems. its a car protection system. he explained it all to us, and
its pretty cool how he came to make it. he has it functioning in 14
countries, and is slowly moving to all the world. he has studied
with a lot of other churches, but never felt good about any, and went
to scientology, but they didnt want him because he went outside of the
box, so he is interested in what we have to say, but is a little
closed. he playes soccer with us at church and is a fun guy, but
needs some prayers to allow the spirit to enter his heart. ricardo,
adriana, eva, and tina. we will talk to them this week, so we ask for
your prayers now.
we finally got guillermo to church yesterday, and he enjoyed it, but
was sad to recognize that about half the ward left after sacrament
meeting.... he will be baptized this week and we need your prayers for
abi, his wife. she has been doubting recently and needs help to accept
it and be baptized. but we are excited to finally be baptizing and
helping this new family receive the gospel. they need it, and are
excited to know what god expects of them. also we ask that you pray
for laura. its her time to be baptized also, and all she needs is a
little time to rest from moving her house, and be able to get her
baptismal interview!
we are slowly progressing, and trying to stay excited. thanks mom for
your advice on faith and prayers, i will apply it this week, and will
come back next week with a spiritual experience that i can share with
you all. i know that god loves us and desires to answer our prayers,
we just need to be humble and ask for his help and guidance, and be
patiently waiting.
thanks for writing back to rosy mom, she said that all went well on
her testimony, and that she had a wonderful time at the temple. i
love converts that can write home and tell about their conversion etc.
i hope that it means as much to you as it does to me that they are
gaining their own testimony and progressing in the gosple. well i
know it means a ton to you and dad, or else you wouldnt have sent us
out here to get our own testimonies and strengthen them.
i have to go now, but i will be waiting to hear from you all next
week! i love reading your letters, and it fills my heart to know that
the lord is blessing you all. i am praying for you all every day.
love you tons.
ps. hno. stocking, mtc teacher, after going to tennessee for his phd
in psychology now met his wife and they are going to be married on
dec. 17. he told us today.
elder facer

Monday, October 10, 2011

Looking for the fruits of the labor

well even though mom thinks that im so great at loving people, its
quite a struggle. but this time around, i try to realize that im
falling in the same traps that happened with elder zazueta, so i try
to prepare myself and avoid them. but man is it hard!!! i sure have
had some problems preparing myself to love more, because satan knows
how to pick at me and hit me at the small points. he works hard on me
by my companion, investigators, and the ward. the three things that
most influence me... sadly with me being meticulous(cant remember how
to spell it....) the little things out of place are getting to me. so
im asking for new ways to love my companion and serve him, have
patience with the members and investigators and keep the spirit.
well we didnt baptize estela, cecilia, or nohemi, because they are
hiding... we set their baptismal interview and they just didnt show
up. we talked to guillermo the next day, and he said they asked him
to tell us that they didnt want to keep going, because it will be hard
to complete............ so we need to talk with them this week to
staighten things up and challenge them again, or drop them..it depends
on the lords will now. memo(guillermo) and abi are still doing good,
except they didnt go to church yesterday, so we will have to wait
ANOTHER week to baptize them...we talked to them both, and they said
they would go, but in the end, had their cell turned off and we didnt
hear anything from them. but we will need all of your prayers for
laura. she has a baptismal date for the 22 of october, and might not
be in the state, and she feels its true, but wants to wait maybe. so
we need to help her understand that she is ready and move forward with
faith to be baptized this week. we need your help! haha.
other than that, we are slowly progressing, and are working hard. we
have had good appointments with some inactive members, and are working
with the ward council more to help us get to the right families that
will be able to return. so i think the fruits of our labors will
still be more in the future.. haha but thats just how it works
sometimes.
it was a blast to hear from all of you this week. bets, and em had
good family experiences, and it makes me remember how much fun our
family get togethers were. also alyssa got her job and dad and scott
and canyon went fishing! i sadly didnt hear from tara, but mom
informed me a little, and congrats on taking region! keep your head up
and keep working hard!
we had interviews with president this week, and also a small training
by the assistants to pres about the missions data of finding and
baptisms. so we talked good and left really excited to get out and
keep finding more investigators and sons and daughters of god that
need this message! he helped me understand something that i really
needed to hear that made me understand why god lets some things happen
the way they do, even after feeling inspired to do something. he told
me that god has me in his school of training, and that he is teaching
me how he must feel as a god when his children use their agency and
disobey. its something that we all have probably heard before, but
man, that time it really impacted me that god is preparing me for
something better. its hard to be patient, but its worth it.
my convert from acapulco, rosy is going to the temple this week with
the ysa to do baptisms for the dead and im way excited! she is also
trying hard in primary secretary and the primary program that they are
doing in two weeks! well sadly my time is up, and i need to get to
our district meeting. i hope that the fhe goes well tonight, and
please tell the oldroyds that i miss them and thank them for their
support in getting me out on the mission. im way excited for cameron,
as well as tanner! love you all, i hope that i put in good info...
love you
elder facer

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just Another Day--Happy and Excited to Work

well nothing here has changed. elder solomon and i will stay together for this next change, and we will be happy and excited to work. i was almost expecting a change, but as soon as i heard that i was staying, i felt a reassurance that this is where God wanted me to be. then hearing it in conference again, i was very calmed and positive that that is what he wanted.
well lets talk about conference. it was good to hear your thoughts and feelings about conference, especially those from lys. its hard to be focused when you have a kid going crazy, and its in a half-forgotten language(haha) but you were still able to feel the spirit and learn what the spirit had to say. thats the most important part, is being taught by the spirit. i was reading in the book of mormon today, and realized that alma after teaching the people of zarahemla for the first time, alma 5, in chapter 6 he reconverted and baptized many people. he did that because he followed the spirit and taught what the lord wanted him to say in the exact moment that it was needed to be said. i feel like the leaders of the church, and us, as missionaries, really need that. that is why we plan and organize ourselves to be prepared to have the spirit. i really like elder bednars talk of how the lord is completing with his ancient promises for us in these latter days. as well as elder ballards talk on who we really are as members of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. also it was fun to see matt richardson talk, even though he looked a little nervous haha. but it was a really good talk. sadly we only had three investigators that went, but they walked away feeling really good, and enjoying it a lot. they were memo, abi, and mariana. they all will probably be baptized in this month!
we had a good week, and found an inactive lady that had many problems with the church about 2 years ago. she had asked for her records to be removed from the church, because she felt like she could never return. she is way sweet, and was excited about the church, but for not completing for so long, has lost that energy and excitement. i wanted to mention her, because this is something that happens so frequently, and it can be so destructive. but it is something that happens between most of the good and solid members. its something that president spannaus has talked about to really warn us of the destructiveness of our tongue and how to take care of it. james 5.
this poor lady went inactive becasue of some gossipping that went in between the members and really attacked her. there were rumors of her liking a missionary(she is 40 with two kids and her husband) and she denied it, nothing actually happened. she tried to stay at church and keep going, but every time she went, she didnt feel welcome, because the members had such rancor and hate in their hearts from the gossip that was passed around many years ago. the members dont want to hear about her, and she doesnt want to hear about them, but she tells us that she wants to be in the true church of christ, but just cant. so we are working with her below president spannaus´ direction, and we ask for your prayers for her and our other investigators. she is ariadne, sara, guillermo, abigail, estela, cecilia, nohemi, nohemi perez, and laura.
we have been working hard, and are staying as focused as we are allowed as 20 yr old boys, but we are doing well. i love you all, and was grateful to hear that all is well at home with work, school, family, surgeries etc. i will be praying for gma and gpa sumner, in this time, as well as gpa facer. i hope all is well, and that you are seeing the blessings of the lord everyday and being grateful. love you!
elder facer

Monday, September 26, 2011

Life is not all about Tara

well, i was pretty sad to hear about taras injury, and the pictures,
but... as you have explained: we need to trust in god and look for his
ways and not ours and accept them. keep going hard tara! echele
ganas! well i would also like to hear what else is going on at home,
all these last 2 weeks, i was praying for lys and her work, mom and
her work but i still havent heard anything about either of them. just
tara, tara, tara. jaja. i heard from betsy, and maryjo today, and
that was good to hear how ALL of their family is doing, and not just
tara. lol jk. also i heard from robert, dane, and sterling this week
and wrote them today(high school friends) and they are doing great.
rob is at a year in the mission, dane has 9 months, and ster is at 6
months. its so wierd to think that from their example, i was the
first to leave. but it was way fun to hear from them in different
parts of the world.
well, this week, we found two inactive families that are willing to
listen to us, and we taught them a few times. but sadly they are
still pretty hesitant to go back to church. and i understand that,
we just need more patience with them and to be constantly there to
support them. i remember that the joy of helping an inactive member
return is just as wonderful as baptizing someone! it happened in
chilpancingo and we activated an entire family and baptized their
daughter on january 1. but we left two weeks later and i havent heard
anything from them. but i imagine they are still doing good. also i
ask for your support in prayers for the families, callejas matildes
and carvahall hernandez. they are two families from chilpo that could
be going to the temple in december, and i talked to their bishop at
the mission conference with elder ballard, and he is working with
them.
in the whole week, we didnt knock a single door to look for
investigators, because we are trying to dedicate our time to finding
inactive members, and work with them and the ward council. so it was
a challenge to find new investigators, but we walked out of the week
with 6. so i was pleased. again the ramirez family didnt go to
church, but they promised for next week, and are still talking about
baptism, so we will keep having faith and waiting for them to be
ready. elder jensen in the conference talked about how some people
are ready to change in 3 weeks, others in 3 months, and others in 6
months..... but thats just how god has made if for his children, so we
just have to wait until the ramirez family is ready and be there to
help them. we also found another family who were a referral from the
ramirez family that turned out pretty good, the problem is that they
are way busy and its hard to get them more than one or two times in a
week... but its ok, they seem really excited and ready for a change.
they are dolores, lidia, luvia, raquel, and lupe.
i have been reading a little of the book of mormon and am just about
to finish mosiah, and i also finished genesis yesterday, so i was
pretty excited to see some progression in the pages of the never
ending bible haha. i love the story and promises that the lord made
to abraham and his posterity, and to look for the fullfilment of those
blessings now a day in the people we teach. it really is true, and
the lord never forgets his covenants with us. elder solomon and i
have been well, he is hoping that we stay together till i go home, but
i dont think it will happen. as you have heard from joseph, transfers
are happening next week, so we will see what happens. well my time
is short, and we need to get to the district meeting, so i will talk
to you all later, with a good report on investigators, and personal
progression next week after conference. may god bless you all! youre in
my prayers and i love you
elder facer

Monday, September 19, 2011

Waiting for the labors to grow to fruit




well dont we always wish the blessings came immediately. i was just thinking about how many of you that wrote, emily, betsy, alyssa, tara,mom that said they were praying for us, but the trials just dont stop coming and the blessings are a little rough to recognize. they are definately there, but we have to look for them closely. thanks for praying for our investigators, because they are doing well, except they needed to go to church yesterday to be able to complete with their requirements for baptism this weekend, but didnt. the pictures are about the wedding of abigail and guillermo (memo is what he goes by)because that went really well. they have been doing really good.
well, this week we have been trying to work a lot more with the ward leaders and less active members, but it didnt really work out as we planned. we did, on the bright side, find a family that has been inacitve for the last 12 years, and their two kids arent baptized. but sadly we didnt get back intime from the wedding to see them before sunday, so we will talk to them this week. i think im getting a
little impatient again, and need to wait for our labors to grow into fruit. D&C 6:34. this week we will be working a little more with the ward council to be teaching them the message of the restoration and about missionary work to show them how excited we are to be working here. so we will start putting the other side of work that elder ballard talked about and try to combine the two. abi and memo and their family have been doing super great! they have dropped coffee completely, and within a week, they have received all the lessons, and are way excited about baptism. but the only problem is that the mom, estela, and the youngest daughter, nohemi, are the only ones of the 5(estela, abi, memo, cecilia, and nohemi) that are ready for baptism for this week, because the rest havent been to church enough times to be baptized, so we will have to wait..... but we still might baptize estela and nohemi, because they really wanted it. on saturday, we went to a town outside of taxco(tasco), Guerrero called san miguel acuitlapán. taxco is famous for its silver. We actually did everything really quick, but we had to get up at 4:30am to be there with the other couples from other areas on time at the offices. the secretaries drove us there, and we did two marriages in less than 2 hours, and only 900 pesos. pretty cheap for other weddings around here. haha.
elder solomon and i have been going good. i am reading the book of mormon again to complete with presidents challenge to finish it by christmas and mark every reference to jesus christ. its been cool to see how much it really is ALL about him. im just starting mosiah right now. also im reading the old testament, and jesus the chirst(still for the first time, i have put it down a few times.... haha)
but all is going well. i need to go now to save time to send the pictures, but im happy that all is well at home, and that we are able to do hard things. mom, i wish you luck and ill be praying for you,as well as alyssa. well really im praying for you all! be good, and trust in the lord with all your heart. dont hold back anything. love you!
elder facer

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lessons from Elder Ballard


Mis queridos misioneros,

Qué maravillosa conferencia hemos tenido y qué privilegio fue poder escuchar, sentir y darle la mano a uno del quórum de los doce apóstoles del Señor, el Elder Ballard. Nunca olvidaremos este día histórico en nuestra misión y en nuestras vidas.

Me gustaría que compartan conmigo sus sentimientos y pensamientos al respecto. El lunes que viene les mandaré los míos. Les mando un abrazo, trabajen duro, tenemos que bautizar más, el mes de septiembre estamos muy bajos en bautismos, siento que nos hemos desenfocado un poco. Ahora, con toda esta fuerza espiritual que hemos recibido, vamos a hacer nuestra obra mejor y más constantemente.

Un fuerte abrazo, que el Señor los bendiga!

Presidente y Hermana Spannaus
Misión México Cuernavaca

well i dont know if anyone was waiting till next week to tell me, or
if you all forgot(not likely) but this saturday i complete 18 months
in the misison... wow. thats nuts, but i feel like it has been a good
year and a half. hopefully, as some of you may have noticed, i feel
like i have learned a lot, and been able to change a few things to
better myself and allow myself to be a better servant of the lord.
well im glad to hear about taras first varsity goal, and homecoming,
and modeling, andrews first birthday and his balloons, and savannas
water pops. haha. thanks a ton dad for the pics. they are super
great! congrats lys and manuel, scott and alicia for being great
parents. im so happy for your kids that they are growing and learning
more and more every day, especially about canyons talk and picture.
that was sweet. they are all getting so big. mom, ill tell elder
miller to stop in and introduce himself at least once. well i hope i
mentioned everything that was written. as usual, i will probably
forget something. well i have good news, and im not sure if i told
you all yet,but rosy, from acapulco, is now the primary secretary in
the ward and loving it! she wrote me to say that she is doing great,
and working hard. also i talked to my bishop from chilpancingo at the
mission conference, and he said that two of the families i baptized
are doing great, have callings, and are getting ready to take the
temple prep classes to be ready in december!!!!!!! so excited. i ask
you to pray for the families carvahall hernandez and callejas
matildes. they are so great.
well now on to our week. im not going to lie, it was a hard week. we
didnt have much success in lessons with member present, finding new
investigators, or getting people to church, and finally yesterday i
had the prompting of why. as i mentioned from before, i felt that the
lord wanted us to work with the members in this ward, and as we tried
to do the work on our own this last week, it just didnt fit into the
lords plans. so we made plans to change that and work with the elss
active members this time. also elder solomon got sick today. he as
what is called here {the double dragon. or in other words diahrrea
and vomit at the same time. it was from a vegtable soup, it gets all
the gringos. so he has had a rough day. he is doing a ton better
from when he got here, we are working hard, staying focused, and
trying to stay obedient and focus on our investigators. he is doing
really good.
on saturday we had our misson conference with elder ballard, elder jay
jensen, elder de hoyos, and elder gonzalez. friday afternoon,
president called me to ask a favor, and wanted me to take notes of the
conference for elder de hoyos, and elder gonzalez and him, if they
spake. also on the questions asked by misisonaries to elder ballard.
the reason for that was because those notes we took may be used in
the website of the liahona! also they took a lot of pictures, so be
watching for any updates, and if i get put in the liahona on the
internet, or in the magazine in the mexico section! the conference
was great, i didnt get to take a lot of personal notes, because of my
assignment, but it went well, and i learned alot. elder jensen talked
about the data he has received on the mission and misisonaries that
baptize the most converts and reviewed the nine points on how to
achieve it. ill send those later, i dont have my notebook. and elder
ballard talked about working hard and depending on the atonement of
christ to help us through the hard times when we are depressed or worn
down. he made a lot of old jokes about the ^young^ apostles, or the
ones below 80 years old, and how the work is hard for them and what
they do to stay strong. he also talked a ton about how to work with
members and use your ward council. so after he was done, i decided to
ask him a question of how to find more new investigators. president
asks us to have aobut 20-30 a week, and the entire mission is about at
15 maximum. he said that we need to work with the less active members
and find through them. at every single appointment we have, we need
to ask who they are oging to invite to our next appointment and that
we should be recieving two new member referrals a day! thats nuts
here, but if he says its possible, we need to get to work to do that.
there were a lot of other inspiring questions, but that one was
really deep, because he was looking at me and answering the question
for about 5 mins right in the eyes..... wow.. that was powerful. haha.
but with a lot of truth and feeling behind it.
well i ask that you keep praying for the big family, because tyhey are
keeping the other commitments, just not always with going to church.
we may have to go to taxco, iguala, guerrero to get abi and guillermo
married on saturday so please be praying for them. also estela,
cecilia, nohemi, josue, jesus, and diego. they really need yor help
to stop drinking coffee, and smoking-guillermo. thanks you all.
lovbe you tons, and we will be in touch! see you next week!
elder facer

Monday, September 5, 2011

Always the Positive

well i dont really know where to start because mom sure talked about a
lot, and there is a lot to say. i also didnt have enough time to read
josephs letter, because i ran out of time. but i will make time for a
good letter. well HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD, AND ANDREW! elder solomon says
happy birthday also. im sad to miss two very important birthdays, but
all is well, i hope you can forgive me haha. also congratulations to
tara for a wonderful soccer result. i actually had that same problem
tara, its not easy to get hit, but right now im playing with an
elder, elder udrizar, i played with him in chilpancingo, that is 6ft
3in and he plays really good. i am the only one that can really play
against him, and he beats me up. we play clean, but rough. dont worry
mom. so i have really had to stay strong and take some hits. but
stay strong, im praying for you here to be a big girl to get in a
fight haha jk. keep playing tough, and doing the little service
projects. that is what makes people open their hearts to us as
missionaries. if we arent serving, the whole area kinda shuts
down.... so we always have to be representatives of christ and go
about doing good. make it a part of your life, because that is what i
am learning life is about. service. also good luck for your first
date dance!!! im so excited. youll do great, just stay calm, and let
the night go, dont be too worried about it, or else it will be too
strict. just go, and have a great time! i hope to hear about it next
week! thats all for tara. canyon wrote me to say that he had a great
time fishing, and i wish that i could have been there freezing with
you guys. but my time will come. hope it tastes great! well, i dont
know if i need a package, but a few packaged sweets would be nice.
its fun to snack on something during study or planning, but not
completely necessary. so we have a lady in my ward that is from a
little pueblo in Hidalgo, a part of josephs mission, and she said the
food is really different from all of my mission. she said there are
some tamales that are about 5 feet long, and 2 feet wide that they
just cut up to feed a whole family or two! haha but we ate with her
last night, and she made us some food from hidalgo, and it was really
good. so good luck joseph! speaking of food, elder solomon and i ate
pig tongue tacos, ribs, head, and two other things that i still dont
know what it was. but it was good! and we didnt get sick! haha. it
was fun to try something new. i have tried almost all of the common
food here in my area, so it was interesting to get out of my
comfort zone.
we found a family of 9 this last week, and 4 of them went to church,
that is my big plea is that you pray for estela, abi, cecilia,
guillermo, nohemi, jesus, josue, and diego, and nancy. we have been
praying and fasting for a family to baptize in this month, and the
lord blessed us with a little more than we were hoping for, so we
really need your help to allow this wonderful and open family to
complete. they are excited, and abi already feels that it is true
after praying, so we need to help the rest of the family get there
too! we have few investigators progressing right now, but they are
doing ok. one is ataúlfo and he is husband to an inactive member and
her daughter, so we are working on them, and the other is the wife of
an inactive member, nohemi. so we are getting moving along, just need
to keep the ward excited and moving along with us. we have had some
members come with us to all of the investigators appointments, and it
has helped alot. elder solomon and i are doing good. just trying to
stay focused on our goals and getting better on spanish. it has been
fun training again, and seeing the mission from a newbies eyes.
well sadly its time to go, but im so happy to hear that everyone of
you is doing well, and that you all are trying hard to be on the lords
side. thats all that really matters in our entire life time, thats
why we are here in this probationary state, so lets do our best! love
you all so much, and i want you to know that youre in my prayers by
name, friends and family. love you all! saturday we have our
conference with elder ballard!!!!
elder facer

Monday, August 29, 2011

Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand

Playing tennis with the president. Haha!
we had a wonderful week working and being lost. everything has been going great with elder solomon, and the members. we both decided that our work in this ward is to be done with the members, and not just by ourselves. it is something new to me, because i have had many companions that just work with the lord on their own, and dont use the members at all. but after praying and looking for the guidance and council of the lord, we both feel that we need to work through the members. so we started to visit them, share scriptures, give blessings, offer service, and leave a challenge. i feel we had good success, and we met a lot of members in our meetings. we have a ward of mostly older members, but there are still a few wippersnappers that are ready to help. there are about 100 members, and they all have just gotten comfortable where they are, and havent been willing to change. no one goes to the temple, or has helped with missionary work in the last year and a half(there was a hard working missionary who worked with them) and it will take a lot of work from us to get them moving again.. all the ward talked pretty bad about the bishop, and that he wasnt willing to work(its his fourth time being a bishop of this ward) and he feels he shouldnt be the bishop, so there are a lot of mixed feelings.... we are going to talk with president spannaus about it, because the members dont trust in him, and they are gossiping about him. so that is one of the main reasons the ward doesnt progress.
our area is really quite cold. every morning in acapulco, it was easy to get off of a hot hammock, or a hot mattress, but here, i forgot how hard it is to get off the cold mattress and comfortable blankets... but we both worked hard on it and kept getting up at 6:30 as expected. we only found a few new investigators, but also got a few members that talked to us at church and are preparing fhe´s with another family! way cool. our goal of baptisms for the month of september will be 5. it is hard, but we have planned to baptize a family that we havent found yet..... but we will do it!
well sorry that i didnt have time to write today, my computer was freezing, and didnt leave me much time to write. but all is well here, even though many of you are struggling, the lord is watching over you, and will teach you from every experience. WE DO HARD THINGS. i now almost have a smile on my face as i say it. almost... haha! love you all! by the way, clarissa, i got your letter today, and i will write a letter to you, and your brothers(individually) this next week. love you all!
elder facer

Monday, August 22, 2011

Here We Come, Cuernavaca!

well as you asked mom, ill talk about changes first. i am going to the coldest area in the mission called atzingo cuernavaca. it is in the mountains of cuernavaca at the very north right before you drop down into the valley of the southern area of mexico city. and just as you are hoping mom, i will be training a new gringo. well kinda. he is here in acapulco in the area cuauhtemoc, but he has been feeling really sick, and hasnt had a good experience. he only came on the mission to please his parents, and has, a little, changed his attitude towards the mission for the better. he only has 6 weeks, and the training is a 12 week process, so i will finish up his training, and try to excite him for the mission. i dont know how long i will be with him, but just as you explained, mom, in the essay of the returned missionary: you have to accept the lords will as it comes, and not complain. that was something elder snyder taught me and i am so grateful that i have started to learn that. just stay positive and look for the good in what you have. i really hope to be able to help elder solomon, and i will need your help and prayers. he is a good missionary, but needs the lords help. so we will be leaving today at 3:40 and get to our area around 8pm. i have been praying to understand the will of god and why he is putting me in this situation(not that i dont want it, but just to be able to understand and complete) and i expressed him my desires and how i think we will be able to excite elder solomon to be in the work of the lord. im pretty excited for the missionary that is coming in my spot, it is elder dahl. he came with elder wilding, and is just as much of a workhorse as him. so i know that im leaving the area in good hands. elder sarduy is good, but has almost tried to start off bad with some of the members.... so ill talk to elder dahl and put them both on their best guard. we have also been preparing some baptisms here so i hope they will be able to come in and start right way.
well i dont have too much more to say about the week, we kept working and also had a few goodbye parties from the members, and that was sweet. we found an inactive member that came from california, and he works in a homeless shelter for kids with HIV. we went and gave four blessings to some kids and also to some of the leaders there, then went back and made friends with the kids and later taught them. they are cool, and need help. we are giving them spiritual help, and the leaders and doctors there give physical help. well sadly i wont be here for them... they were really cute and easy to attach to. we also had our ward conference this week, and it went really good! the theme was on becoming truly converted to the lord. we also took a ton of pictures, but i will have to send them next week, because my cord is already packed away... also we had our zone conference and elder sarduy directed it. it was my 3rd conference so i was calm and prepared, but he was about to have a heart attack, so i had to calm him down and help him get things organized. in the end, everything turned out good, and president and the assistents congratulated us on our zone conference.
well im sorry that i dont have much more to say right now. it was a pretty quick week, and only a few big events passed. we are doing well, but just a little sad that im leaving. but all is well, the work continues.
well hope everyone has a great week, and next week i will have good details and fill you in on whats going on. love you all! take care.
elder brigham facer

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way

hola mi querida familia y mis amigos!
well we had a lovely week these last seven days, and have good news that jared did get confirmed this yesterday! also we have been doing a little bit better to find new investigators and keep them for teaching. we are working in an area where it is all apartments, and there are more than 100, so we have been working hard to find who we can and keep finding more. i didnt love working in those areas before, but i have come to see that heavenly father can have his elect children wherever he decides, not where we decide. sadly no one is going to church. as soon as one desire is completed, another is needed. we first needed investigators, and had a few people going to church in their baptismal preparation, but now that we have people to teach, and the others got baptized, no one want to go to church... so its a never ending cycle of being humble and seeking the lords help.
well i have felt really good this week, because i have been doing good exercise. our neighbor, ex bishop, goes running about every morning in a park close by our house, or on the beach, and he invited us. the sad thing is that i have never really had a companion who has been really willing to run, except elder wilding. but elder sarduy was willing to put up with it. so we went running, and after the third day, one member from our ward said that i was looking skinnier. im not sure if its true, or if i was just in a smaller shirt that day, but it made me feel good! i also feel like i have more energy during the day. the lord blesses us when we complete with what he asks us to do.
well it has been hard this last week, and today, knowing that changes are coming up this weekend, and that president can send me anywhere he likes, and with whichever companion, and with whatever leadership position. its hard to stay focused, but i have been praying that he helps me, and during the day im doing good and being focused on the work, but at night the reminder is still there. just like you said mom, God has left me here knowing that i only have one change more to serve in this area. i have to do all that i can to complete with him and make sure i did what he wanted in this last change here. it has been a good reminder that i have to be right on track, and focused to have the spirit. if im distracted, it cant be giving me impressions. dont worry, ill keep going hard until the end of the week and the end of the mission. im sorry that i have to end a little early today, but i need to write a few converts before i get off to see if i will be able to go to the temple any time soon. love you all, and im so grateful for your inspiring letters and words. i hope everyone is well, and that you all know your in my prayers. love you so much! have a wonderful spirit filled week!
elder brigham facer

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Quieter Week on This Side of Acapulco

here we are another week. well first off, i wanted to comment on something that mom wrote about my safety, and the setting apart, i have had that impression come to my mind various times in the mission, and maybe its because something was going to happen, but because i was worthy to have the spirit, or because father in heaven was completing his part of the promise, or setting apart, i have been guided and protected from situations i didnt even know about. talking about safety, i talked to an elder on the other side of acapulco this morning, and he told me some of what is going on in acapulco right now. the cops finally captured a head drug boss in acapulco, but that just made the other drug dealers and their gangs mad and uncontrolled, because they dont have a leader, so there have been a lot of bad things going on. luckily i hadnt heard about any of it until this morning. he said last night as they were walking home from their lunch appointment, they found that 3 cars had been blown up, and there were a few dead people there in the street that were being carried away by the ambulance... he said it has been happening the last 3 days also... im happy to be leaving in 2 weeks from here... haha but i havent heard of anything on our side of acapulco. but as i hear of these things going on so close to us all, i am reminded of the setting apart, just as you were mom. i dont feel in danger either. but that doesnt mean i dont keep my guard up! the reason i feel protected is because we are trying hard to complete with the commandments 100%, so god blesses us for our efforts.
well this week, we did have one baptism, but missed the confirmation for jared. i have his picture that i will send later. he and his family were all okay with him being baptized, except his dad, its because the grandma is really focused on her catholic beliefs, and is trying to convince her son(jareds dad) that he shouldnt let jared be baptized. but in the end, we convinced him after teaching a little, and got him baptized before he changed his mind. they were also all ready for the confirmation, but the baby lenny was sick, so no one got up, and they didnt go to church......... a little frustrating. ive decided that some of the hardest trials come when we are trying harder to be righteous, such as yesterday fasting... pretty rough trials.
during the week, we spent almost all the day, every day, contacting, because jared was our last investigator that was progressing, so we dedicated ourselves to that to find more people. we found 11, which is decent, but sadly not many poeple will progress.. i hope at least a few will. some were really great in the first lesson, but we didnt see them after that, because of school or work, so that might cause some conflicts in being willing to sacrifice things for god. the rest of the people we found, were dropped this last week... elder sarduy and i have been doing good. there are a few things that get on our nerves, but we are both pretty calm and can push those things off, so we do ok. we are getting ready for zone conference on the 18 of august, so we need to prepare our lesson plan and buy the food, prepare the church etc.
well all is well here for us in acapulco, because after 4 weeks of not receiving rain, it hit us hard friday night going into saturday at midnight and it woke me up a few times and scared me. you wouldnt believe the thunder here. its great! it was pouring so hard, that it was almost hard to be able to calm myslef and be able to go back to sleep. but all is well.
i was sad to not hear from anyone this week, but i am not depressed. only joseph, and mom, and john wrote me. but its ok.... i hope all is well for everyone, and that you have a great week! well see you next monday.
elder brigham facer



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just Another Day in the 'Hood...

this is rosy´s baptism, her sister is in black, kariely
good afternoon family and friends. well congratulations to joseph for arriving to mexico safely and early! it will be fun to compare the differences from the north and south of mexico, because there are big differences. well sad to say that the zone didnt complete its goal, but after praying so hard to have it completed, i was comforted by the spirit as i was confirmed that we wouldnt complete it, and it made everything much more bearable. especially to know that it wasnt the lords will that we completed the zone goal this time. it was a struggle, and i feel we gave all that we could to complete it, but the lord had different plans so we had to change ours to be in line with his.
during the challenge to give a baptismal interview to another area, on our way back, we were on the same street, and 20 feet away from a drive by(got out of the car and shot then got back in) shooting.... we didnt even see the car pass, then they got out and killed a policeman because he didnt obey them, and tried to run, but we dropped to the ground as fast as we could, and got between the bank of the curb and the cars to get out of the way. nothing else happened, but it was an adrenaline rush. the cool thing is that just as i was talking about the spirit comforting me about the goal, it was right after that the spirit kept us calm during that drastic situation and guided us to what we should do. i can honestly say that i felt guided and protected by the lord in a dangerous situation. that is the first time i have been in that type of situation, and everything went smoothly for us. the good thing is that the drug traffickers that do the killing, arent just looking for whichever person to kill, but only their enemies. thats why the lord says love one another, always!!
sadly jared didnt get baptized, but we did have a miracle baptism. we were planning to baptize rosy this weekend, but as i was praying one night about her, i had the thought that she was ready, and didnt need to wait any longer. she had a testimony, and knew the doctrine, so why wait? we talked about it in our companionship, then in our next appointment, challenged her to be baptized that friday, and she doubted a little then accepted and knew that was right. so cool! she passed her interview easily, and was almost asking if we could do it even earlier. haha. she was an investigator that elder miller and i found, and she is great, smart, diligent, and has studdied. there are few people like that here in the south that want to listen to the gospel. her sister is a member for 4 years, and gave her the good example. everything went great in her baptism, later i will send her pictures.
zl council went really good, we talked about upcoming events, such as zone conference, the next zl council and that elder ballard and elder jensen(presidency of the seventy) will be coming to visit our mission on september 10!!!!! wow, super exciting. that will be such a cool experience, just like the last two that we have had(elder johnson, area president, and president rasband). we also talked about the problem the missionaries are having about being unfocused and it is a result of not having a good relationship with heavenly father and therefore lacking spirituality. the 6 parts of spirituality are prayer, scripture study, ponder, fast, service, and love which embraces everything. it was a very good talk, and i will send the email on spirituality to mom.
well everything is going good for elder sarduy and me this last week. we are slowly getting to be better friends, and more united. he is still struggling to get up th hills, but he is trying hard. now that he realizes that i will be leaving this next change, he is trying to learn how to do everything before i go, because he will probably also be training a new zl next change. but all is well in zion(acapulco) well more like zarahemla. jaja love you all, and thanks for your support, and prayers. by the way, if clarissa rees reads this, i sent a letter to you today, so im sorry it will take 2 months, but it will get there. i got your letter yesterday. ps: happy birthday manuel, betsy, and john! i know i cant get it right on the day, so thats the best i can do. love you all!!!
elder brigham facer

Monday, July 25, 2011

Always Looking for Improvement

wow, a lot of letters to read! how nice. its good to hear from you all, relatives, and friends, and your experiences that are molding and changing you to be heirs in the kingdom of god. it really is a fun experience to see changes. as you had mentioned to me, mom, you have noticed a change in my letters etc. i have been able to start seeing the changes in a few of my converts here in acapulco, as well as some of the letters from home. activities in the church, keeping the commandments, and doing things as a family, has really blessed the lives of lenny and brenda, and because of their example, hopefully, brendas little brother will be getting baptized this weekend.... please pray for him, jared. he will need the help to man up to the challenge. well all is still great here in acapulco, just that we havent received any rain in this last week. it has been hard working, because in the 19 months of elder sarduy, he never had a hilly area, and thats all that i have had. so i had to wait for him a few times this week... it has been a little rough for me, to be waiting on a companion as im hiking up the hill, because usually they are waiting for me as they are practicaly running up the hills with their long legs! but now i have had to learn from that. we are still doing a lot of contacting to find more people to teach, and are doing ok. we have been finding about 13 people these last two weeks, but not many people are progressing, so we just keep contacting. we might have had some better success at the end of this last week, and during this week we will know how it went. on saturday we, as the entire mission, did a fast to receive the powers of heaven to find the chosen and elect sons and daughters of god in this week. a long topic, but i think it was a good fast. we, as a mission, have really been struggling to find a lot, like we were doing when i fisrt got here, i dont know if its that we arent as dedicated, or because we just are being challenged, but it has been rough to find. we just keep moving forward with faith. also acapulco may complete its monthly goal of baptisms this month for the first time in 2 years!!! haha. our goal is 14, and we have 10. so i ask that you all pray that we can work our tails off(you dont have to pray with that phrase) and help these people receive the holy ghost in their lives, as well as us complete our zone goal/promise with god.
well, elder sarduy and i have been working to fix some things that have been going wrong in our teaching, and little by little we are doing better. it is still taking a long time, but i think we will do ok in the end. by the way mom, next week we will have zone leader council on monday and have our p day on tuesday, so you wont get your letter until then.
betsy commented that you got together to do some canning, and that for the first time made me really happy! in all of mexico, im not sure about the rest of the world, but the leaders are really stressing the topic of self sufficiency. being able to handle things for ourselves, and being prepared. such as storing food, looking in the future with work, family, church etc. and many members arent doing that so we are trying to change things. it was touching that you all are following the council of the prophets to keep a food storage, and be prepared. in all the mission, president and sister spannaus got 72 hour kits in every home, we had to buy the materials, to be prepared for an emergency. it was a good lesson for everyone that tragedy can strike at any moment, and we need to be ready. may god bless you for your diligence, and obedience. well my time is about up, and and i still have to write president for the week, so i now have to say goodbye. love you all, and i thank your for your prayers and constant thoughts about the missionary work and us. take care!
elder brigham facer