Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Zona Valles - March 4, 2013

lunes, el 4 de marzo, 2013

Dear Mom,
Thanks for continuing to send emails, it is nice to hear from you and from others as well.  Hermana Holladay and I might have had the chance to see each other if we didn't receive our visas, and that would have been a good experience. Sounds like Hermana Holladay is having a good time at the MTC, she will be amazing.
Along with trials to make us stronger, God also makes us humble so we come unto Him and literally have to rely on Him to make it through the next day. He does it because He loves us. There is a good Mormon Message about this, not sure of the correct name but it is about the gardener and the bush. 

I receive and send emails at a local internet cafe place. We rent computers and depening on how much time we spend we pay that much. It is really cheap, but we need to keep our time here short.
With letters, I found out that I can send letters and it will take about 1-3 weeks to get to the US and then regular time from then on. I am going to try and write a letter home once a month about spiritual experiences and other things I feel like I should add.
I write everything I need, want, or have prayed about either in my journal or in my schedule. I should probably have one place where I right it all down, thank you for the reminder.
I would like to take time and answer these questions because they are connected with this week:
What tender mercies have you experienced this week?
-I have literaly seen the hand of the Lord in His work. This week we received many investigators that have been prepared by the Lord. The night of 26 February 2013 I had a dream where I was at home and waiting for dinner. There was tons of food and I had no idea why. All of a sudden, people I did not know by name but looked familiar started coming into the room. We all ate, talked and then they went their ways. The last person who I saw leave was the first investigator who we had that next day. To sum it up, she is coming closer to our Savior and following his example.

What things are difficult for you right now, and how do you overcome them?
-Many things are difficult. My body is tired from working, there are times where food does not satisfy hunger and water thirst. There are times my feet cramp up and times I can't sleep at night. But I know that God supports his servants and will not let them fail. Through Him anything is possible.
Some items from my personal study last week:
I was reading in Mosiah 3, 4 and 5 and they are truly amazing. I beleive all of them are King Benjamin speaking to his people to stay humble, obedient, and worthy to be in the kingdom of God. In Omni, we need to preserve our genology so that our next generations may know that we believed in Christ and that they will know by more than one testimony that these things are true. Jacob 5 - Mosiah 5 are quality scriptures, even though some people forgot to stay obedient and humble.

Things from last week I forgot to mention:
1) I drank water from a coconut from the tree that I took a picture of.
2) At around 6:30 it gets dark around here and the moon is bright enough to guide us
3) We helped a man move a washing machine and he wanted to know about our church so we gave him a Book of Mormon.
Have an amazing week!

Thank you for your support, your love and examples. Keep up the good work!
Elder Holladay

A type of chili pepper flower growing on the tree 
The area of my District leader during our exchange

Zona Valles - February 25, 2013

lunes, el 25 de febrero, 2013

Dear Mom,

Today has been pretty amazing. We met as a zone, talked about goals and how we are doing and how we can better ourselves, then had a giant water ballon toss with towels.

This week has been one of my hardest weeks, but I love it. The last three days (Friday to Sunday) our appointments were dropped, or the people who we were supposed to teach and meet with either weren't there or didn't want to meet with us. It gave us the oppurtunity to search out inactive members and contact references and that is what we did. It was hard work and our feet hurt after the day but our spirits were full of joy.

My companion is from Chihuahua Mexico, a little North of Mexico City near the border.
Our new area is directly West from Tampico. Its a city area and around it are lots of heat stricken trees, bushes and lakes, and as the name suggests, it is hilly. I love it, it gives us a good workout all the day long. It reminds me of Pennsylvannia if you turn up the degrees a little.

Our last area in Miramar Tampico we lived in a two story house above another family who wasn't from the church but loved the missionaries. Here we are the front house of a bunch of houses squished together.
We do not have hot water, but to get some we boil water on the stove and then use the cold water and put both into a big bucket to cool it down enough to use to have a bird bath. It is pretty awesome. Almost reminds me of when I used to take baths when I was little.

For food, we buy enough food for a week, have lunch at members homes and then depending on who we visit they will either give us dinner or we will go home and eat. We usually do the latter because everyone has dinner around 9.

We have a washing machine here and we have the sun and a clothes line to dry. Personally I think that is the best way because if you hang your clothes correctly you can decrease the amount you have to iron.
Our teaching experiences from this week have been pretty amazing. One experience I will share is we met with a person who usually doesn't pray and doesn't want to come to church. She talked with us about how we should worship Mary and other saints from the Catholic church. We essentailly stated that we don't worship other people because God commanded us to worship one God, and we bore testimony that God is the only one who answers our prayers and sends the Holy Ghost to answer our prayers. She prayed with us and asked to feel the Holy Ghost like we talked about, and it was strong.

During this week's personaly study, I was reading in 2 Nephi 31 & 32 and I really liked it because it had a special spirit to it. It is litereally the Doctrine of Christ and why we should follow it. It is the only way back to live with God again.

I pray for everyone and hope they feel the Lord's love and see His hand in their lives.

I love everyone and hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Holladay

Meal from members: beans, rice, meat, and cucumbers 

A coconut tree by the house of one of the members