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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Training Elder Sarduy

good afternoon family and friends,
well im glad to hear that everyone is doing well, and im thankfull for the letters i have been receiving from you all. its fun to hear about all the things that are going on at home. i also wanted to personally congratulate tara for her first date! drivers license! and job! thats so cool. be sure to tell carson i say hi, and that im watching from a distance... haha jk. also happy birthday grandma sumner!
well everything is going great here in acapulco still. every night at 6 it starts raining pretty hard, and we are not getting sick, so im really enjoying it! elder sarduy is really fun, but sadly its a little hard to understand him and his accent. he is from veracruz, mexico, but also had lived in cuba(where his dad is from) for 9 years. it is a very cut up spanish and very quick. on the coast, they always drop off the ´s´ at the end of the word, but in cuba, they take it out always! haha. he is actually the oldest elder in the mission with 27 years, and will complete 28 in november. he has had a lot of good companions that should have taught him a lot, but we are coming to realize that we still have a lot of things to work on, such as using time wisely(im not the best, but im learning) and teaching methods. the good thing is that he is also willing to learn, and accepts my advice. we have progressed a lot in just one week, and a few more responsibilities are coming that elder sarduy is going to have to learn. this wednesday, we are having interviews with president spannaus and need to prepare the church, get rent money organized, and pass statistics. so we are doing a lot of learning here!
we are also doing decently well with our stats, but are lacking in a few things. we have been doing pretty good on finding people and challenging, but the problem is that we just arent finding the elect sons and daughters of god right now. for the last four weeks, the poeple we find, just dont progress like we are asking. even the people that are progressing, just arent completing with all of their requirements. no one went to church yesterday.... so we are going to need to drop a few investigators, and keep looking for new poeple. we are actually going to start a new project in the ward, called 5 families. the bishop and priesthood executive commitee will find five inactive or less active families in the ward that have potential to come back, and we go visit them, and treat them just like investigators. we teach them all the lessons, leave them reading/praying assignments, and invite them to church. as one family becomes reactivated, or doesnt progress, we, with the PEC, can drop them and bring up a new family. i think it is going to be a great program to reactivate, and also help us get more references by reconverting these members. im really excited. also we are planning a stake missionary meeting, in which we, as the missionaries of the stake, will train the stake on how to get and give references. we will do role play, short classes, and teach them how to invite their friends in different situations. i hope that will also be able to help get things moving a little, and animate the stake members. mom, you have nothing to worry about. im going to give it all i can in this last month, because i know that president left me here to train a future super leader, and help members, missionarys, and investigators come unto christ. i dont regret staying here at all, and am going to enjoy it as much as i can.
well sorry i dont have much more time, but i just wanted to tell elderito facer, that god has elected you to be in this waiting mission for a reason. all he does is with a divine purpose that we, many times, dont know or might never know. but i know that god is watching over you. elder wilding(my trainee) also was in idaho pocatello for 2 months, and actually found some distant relatives that had some valuable information on his treasured and beloved grandpa that was such a good example to him. he didnt baptize any one there, but came away with much more also.
by the way mom, i dont know if you remember the ink catridges that i ask you to send me last time, but i need some more. maybe if you could communicate with dan snyder by facebook etc that would be really appreciated if you could send it in a future package.
thanks for everything from all of you. i really am grateful for all that you are doing for me and the other missionarys that need your help. may god bless you in this week, and recognize his all powerful hand bless you. much love
elder brigham facer

Monday, July 11, 2011

More to Learn from Acapulco

wow... well i will start out with a repass of the week. monday was nice, we finally were able to talk to the entire zone about their statistics(data) and goals, and why they arent completing them. i talked pretty rough with the other district where we arent, because they havent had good training for the last 3 months. so i went and talked to them and made it more of a chat, instead of yelling. i felt that it went over well, and they seemed more excited to get out and work, but now looking back on it, it only affected the district leader and his companion. which is a start. the other missionaries were way focused on changes, and not even worried about working. so sadly yesterday, we had to talk to them pretty sternly and frankly about some things. well starting tuesday in the afternoon, after lunch, elder miller started feeling really sick, and had a real bad head pain. it turns out he had a throat infection, cold, and also gave him a migrane. so we went home and waited to see if it would go away, and when we realized it wouldnt, i couldnt get ahold of a brother from the ward to go out with me to do visits. so we just stayed at home for the night. later the next day, i was with emmanuel guerrero, or old ward mission leader, and we worked pretty hard all day. we found three new investigators, and also had a few lessons. thursday, elder miller tried to go out and work, and made it a little more than 3-4 of the day when we had to go home and let him rest a little more. by friday he was good, and we worked friday and saturday. the hard thing, is that it was also raining a lot this last week, and we couldnt leave to work because of his sickness, so some times we had to wait out the rain. saturday night, we went out with a brother from the ward to a california buffet restaurant. it was all pretty much mexican food, with pancakes and hot dogs also haha. random. practically all the dessert was gelatin, gelatin with fruit, etc haha. but it was fun to go out and enjoy the last half hour of elder millers mission waiting to hear the changes from the assistents.
well i will still be here in acapulco for another 6 weeks. i will be training a new zone leader, and after training and working really hard, i will be changed. president spannaus called me this morning after elder miller left, and let me know what was going to happen, and also the situation of my new companion, elder sardui(sar-dewey) he has a little more time in the mission than i do, and i think president said that he is a convert to the church, and needs to learn leadership. president told me that i will only be here for this change then i leave, so i will have to work hard, and not let changes get to me next time. it was a little hard thinking about it, because i have a lot of time here, 6 months, and i was expecting to be changed, but we tried to work as hard as we could until the end. it was really sad to see elder miller go, we really enjoyed our time together, and traded a tie, so it was all sentimental... jaja. he was pretty nervous, and i told him to stay in touch with you all when he gets to byu. he recognized your building and where to go in, and he said when he goes back, he will be expecting a famous gary hamburger that following sunday. haha well those are actually the words i told him, and he agreed. dad your barbeque reputation is growing across the world!!!! well elder miller left with honor, and i wouldnt doubt feeling that he completed with what God sent him to do. he was a very successful missionary in my eyes.
once again my time has ended, but we will be in contact, and ill let you all know more about elder sardui this next week! take care, and know that i am praying for you all, and that god watches over you and protects you all. amen. love you,
elder brigham facer

Monday, July 4, 2011

Personal revelation on being submissive in all things

well i just wanted to let you all know that this is the hottest chile known to man. its called habanero negro. im quite sad that i didnt try it. i wanted to at least say that i tried it. the one on the side is the habanero rojo, the second hottest chile in the world. there is a member here that is brave enough to have his chile garden haha.
good morning everyone!
well today is the beginning of the last week for elder miller. we are both very sad that it is his time to leave, but we both understand that the lords work will never stop until he says so, so even when a missionary leaves the field, god puts new missionaries in to take his place! i was just wishing that i had told scott to save me a big poster of ``the standard of truth´´ by joseph smith, because it has become very powerful recently. ill be sure to send elder miller to your office mom, and also to the house to try some of dads famous burgers! haha.
well what a great experience that was to see joseph and dan snyder together in the mtc. also i got a letter from joseph just saying that he is doing real good, and that he will only be there for 3 weeks. thats shocking to me that he can be here so quick in mexico. i sure hope the tropical storms arent going to affect him. haha. mom, i think it would be nice to hear from you whats going on with joseph, because we may not stay in contact super well, only when there are experiences, or comments to share, but i will write him every little chance i can. or maybe you could just forward me his emails. that would be easy.
so the leadership training was very, very good, and very long. haha it was 4 days of training, and in the afternoons we went back to our respective areas( where we were sleeping) and helped the misisonaries in their areas. we got lucky and were the 3rd area closest to the church where we had the conference. but all week while we were there, another tropical storm hit in veracruz, but i guess it was almost over the entire mexican republic. so instead of being nice and warm in an acapulco rain, we were freezing cold at night in a cuernavaca rain haha. we at least we didnt get sick! i had a nice experience during the training that told me what i needed to do to better know my heavenly father, and grow closer to him. as i was reading in the book of mormon monday night, looking for a spiritual thought, and preparing one for the training, i came across a scripture in mosiah 15:5,7
5And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

7Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.

that jumped out to me and told me that i needed to be submissive in all things that the father has for me, and by doing that i can have his spirit with me more, which will help me overcome all temptation, recognize every elect son and daughter of god, and tell them exactly what god would tell them. so i will start working on that. during the conference, president and hermana spannaus mentioned submissiveness with other titles, and the spirit told me that that is what i needed to do. they mentioned it by always following and acting on the small impressions of the spirit, repentance, challenging everyone, understanding the doctrine of christ, and making inspired questions. it really told me step by step of how i can better follow my savior. very humbling, and very impressive. the training was all the same material as the last time i went at the beginning of november, but it was very good to review it, and look for new insight on the same topics. at the end of the conference, president talked with us all, and explained to us how much god is trusting us, and is now allowing us (as missionaries in all the world) to have a dvd player with the two preach my gospel movies to learn from( the movies are an extention to what me and joseph had to watch before going into the mtc) and it is very inspiring and motivating with great examples. mike moreno is actually a main missionary in the pmg 2.(the soccer player from mtn view) im not sure why god trusts in us so much, but im very grateful for this new opportunity to learn in a new way. before only the trainers and district leaders had those movies, but now he wants everyone to learn from them personally and within a companionship and practice it! wow, what a responsibility. that was pretty much all that happened this week, but there was one more thing i would like to touch on. do you remember the 3 teenage girls we baptized in may with their aunt? well we went to see them saturday night, and found out that the oldest of the girls, citlaly age 16, ran away with her boyfriend, and they havent heard anything from her in 12 days..... all i ask is that you all could pray for her, and at least ask heavenly father to take care of her. also we wouldnt mind your prayers for us to find 15 new investigators this week. we have almost no one in teaching right now, and if both elder miller and i leave the area at the end of this week, we dont want to leave it dead for the new missionaries that are coming in. well thanks for your support and letters everyone, im really happy to stay in touch with all of you, and i thank you for your love and help in the lords work. my god bless you and be with you in this week! much love

elder brigham facer