Monday, November 26, 2012

Final 6 emails from mission


November 26th, 2012--last of the entries

I want to write a very small note at the concluding moments of my mission. I want to write that I am very happy. I have learned so much I don`t know where to start in sharing that. I have also changed a lot...I am not the same person I was two years ago. This work is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ, also, is true. God truly loves me and you. I love the people, I love this work, and I will have these places and people in my prayers the rest of my life.
I am excied to keep on progressing in such a great cause. I feel like I have truly come to know my savior and my God better in this time. And I am excited to share personally more of these experiences with many of you in a short time.ELDER GEOFFREY PALMER


We are loving the work...we are finding a lot of people to teach. The Branch is super excited, and I am working right now the same as any other week. I am feeling the spirit a lot, I can´t complain. I will tell you guys more about what has been going on in the branch next week.
Okay....I am not going to lie. I psychologically have not accepted or in other words it hasnt hit me that I am finishing my mission truly. I feel kind of weird. Hypothetically Next week I will have finished. Thats weird. I hope the shock doesn`t affect me. Haha. Mom and Dad, I am kind of nervous to see you both honestly. I hope that I can be a better son to you both. I love you both dearly, and I am excited to be able to convey truly the things that I have learned in the mission face to face.
I don´t have anything else to say but I love being a missionary. It is super challenging, because pretty much perfection is the goal...and sometimes it is overwhelming, but there is nothing like it. My priorities of life and the meaning within it have changed so much. The covenants that I had made became much deeper, and the hard moments taught me to know that I can´t do it alone. Seeing the progress of the members and converts, and investigators has taught me that this is and will be a lifelong process. I have not reached the summit. The mission is not the summit. I have learned that recently. I am excited to live faithfully, to give a thousand references to the missionaries when I return, and to strengthen the core of my testimony. I recognize the importance of getting sealed, and being faithful to those covenants. Work and business and all that stuff are thrilling prospects, but they are not the focus...I have learned. They are not the pearl of great price...the burried treasure. Eternal life is my goal.

Sorry for that ramble. It was more for my benefit than yours to write it haha.

Love yall,

Peace.

ELDER PALMER



November 12, 2012

Hello my beloved father and mother. My how pleasant it is to have this rather special opportunity to write to you both.
 I want to comment that I admire President Cardenas a lot. He is a very special man. As I heard him speak in our District Conference, I was reminded of many of the ways that he is a good example. And his wife too. He is very full of faith, and excitement about the work. His wife is just such a siweet, loving, and pacient person. She actually has a bunch of family here in Zanatapec. And her mom owns a BUFFET here where it is our turn to eat there every wednesday. MMM.
We have had a lot of success with references recently. Now that we can`t knock doors, we are working alongside the members a lot more. We have 11 references received that are pendent, and we have contacted 19 this week. We have various investigadores in the conference, but unfortunately many investigators that are really good we are having to "drop" with love. I love the members here and they are really excited about the work.
Thats all folks...I love you both a bunch...and I am grateful for two years when I learned to be more dependant on the Lord, and less dependant on the family. However, I am very excited to maybe not be dependant...but be strengthened immensely and to strengthen immensely the family relationships that I cherish.
I hope you both know that I know that I haven`t been the best missionary in the world, or as great as you both think I am, but I can tell you both that I have given it all I could. And I am sprinting to the finish right now. I love it. Missionary work is such a satisfying lifestyle.
ELDER PALMER

November 5th, 2012

We had the baptism of a young 9 year old that attends church with his uncle, who is a counselor in the branch. He is a great kid and told the elder in the interview that he would not have a girlfriend until after his mission haha. Then the young girl who is a niño inscrito of an active member got baptized. She uses a wheelchair and is like a little angel. But she was so scared in the water because the brother had to repeat the baptism various times. Without warning I had to get in there and help him do it. I got wet, but it was a special little baptism.
Good news...we had a training with Elder Johnson from the seventy and area presidency and it was incredible in tuxtla. He taught us so much, and what most impressed me what how he taught us to teach the first principle and strengthen our testimonies of the reality of a loving father in heaven. Also, he explained how we will be working only through the members. We are now not allowed to contact door to door. I prayed and fasted to be able to find good families through the members (because we were then having difficulties finding people) and yesterday after the fast, we were able to contact 8 references with members, and we could put a lot of lessons for this upcoming week. A couple of potential families look great. Also, I could see Elder Millan and Mom---remember that guy that you called in Oklahoma? HE GOT BAPTIZED. When I left he had just accepted a baptismal date and come to church and was changing a bunch, and he got baptized and his sister (a single mother) will get baptized most likely on December 1st...and so coincidentally we will be able to attend.
President Herminio is in the District presidency and he went to puebla and met up with my companions family. So they sent us a bunch of poblano meat, bread, and stuff which was cool. Together with the package I received from yall was pretty great :)
We are going to go to the Ranch of Pdt. Herminio today to visit and spend time with them. (Preparation day).
Next week we will have a District conference here in Zanatapec! We don`t have to travel which is great :) There probably will be various baptisms too.

ELDER GEOFFREY PALMER

October 29th
Mom and Dad,
The highlight of this week was a Family Home Evening with one of the District presidency members and his wife accompanying us to a large family of investigadores. we watched the video "only a stonecutter" and how God can use each of us in his work and all that. It was very spiritual. And it was the coolest portable homemando movie theater type thing i have seen. Um...also, about 15-20 people were there present. Then we played a game that was really fun.
Also, 11 of our investigadores came to church yesterday. That was cool...and it was the primary presentation. It was very special honestly.
We have district conference coming up...on November 11th...and we are planning a baptismal service in the river with a lot of investigadores that day in the afternoon.
Also...one of our investigators plays trumpet...and I played it. I am certain that I will pick that up again...I had a lot of fun.

OK, I have a million dollar question, that sometimes I feel weird not knowing. When you guys pick me up...where are we going afterwards...to Texas or New Zealand? or Spokane? I am good with whatever you guys want...but I would like to make a stop in Texas and Spokane getting home at least to visit a few people that are VIPS for me. But, if that is not possible, no problem...but what is yalls plan? Or are you guys going to take me sheep farming...cause that is good with me too. or to utah. haha. sometimes people ask me where i will return home to before BYU and I don´t really know what to answer. So that is my million dollar questions haha.
As far as things for investigadores...paintings, or post cards from the church type things or illustrations are the best. Some people are soo happy just to get pictures of christ. All of those many cards that you have sent me I have given away very fast. And no...I still havent gotten those rings yet.
ELDER PALMER

October 15th
I have like no time to write...but I am going to go to Zanatapec Oaxaca! I go there tomorrow, and I will be training and be a District Leader (we cant finish as Zone Leaders or generally as District Leaders, but I think I am because I have never been district leader.

It is a small town, and I am way excited. I am going to work harder and better than I have up to this point.

I LOVED my time in this ward. It has been marvelous. Many of the members and converts are dear friends that I hope to keep in contact with for a long time.

Much love, and ANIMO!!!!
ELDER PALMER

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012--Sweat, scorpions and sweet members


Ok. Well, my new companion is named Elder Leon, from Puebla. He is in his second transfer, so I am finishing his training. He is a straight up focused good kid, that just got out of Benemerito (the mexican high school of the church). He is pretty excited about the work, and yes, I am enjoying a lot as I teach him. We get along really well, and I really like working with him. I am going to give him lots of oportunities to work and learn, and not do everything myself.
 
As I share things with him I realize that I have learned a lot on the mission. Mom...you asked me what I have learned on the mission-- I have learned principally the importance of being humble before God in the hard moments, and keeping ourselves humble in the good moments. I have learned of the importance of having sincere motives as we invite others to come unto christ. I have learned the importance of recognizing that conversion is a process, and the converts, less actives, investigators, or even we will occasionally have obstacles. Big or small. But that everything is in our favor to keep on going and living the gospel. I have learned of the huge importance it is to not become complacent with what we have or where we are at, or what we know. I have learned of the importance to not only DO things, but to WANT the right things. Also, I have learned a lot about setting some goals, and planning how we can fulfill that goal, and reaching it.
 
Those things are some of the things that I am learning while here. I recognize that I haven`t arrived at a final point in my learning of these topics, but more that they are things that I AM learning and that are helping me to progress. I feel happy, because I don´t even feel tempted to get trunky. I am really happy with the work here right now. We found various fmailies that are progressing well, and we have about ten people with a baptismal date for November 11th. Also, we baptize in rivers here, so that will be fun.
 
I am working harder than I ever have until now. We are contacting, teaching, and working with the members a lot. Also, we invited eleven people to get baptized on a specific day this week. In a couple of weeks, they are going to institute a whole new way that the missionaries are going to be working. We are literally not going to be allowed to go tracting. We are going to work 100% with the members. But we still don´t have details about that yet.
 
My goal right now is consistency. I want to study well, plan well, and just work hard every day until the end of my mission. I hope that we can see miracles in the process of families coming into the waters of baptism. The members here are great, and I am also going to develop good friendships with them and keep working with them. They have a small Casa de Oracion (house of prayer), but are so close to getting their own Chapel built (they are already looking for the piece of land). 72 people came to church, and it was a little suffocating in such a small room haha. But we are excited and we are trying to break mental barriers and reach our potential. I think one of my personal focuses will be to take advantage of my studies right now. And to immerse myself in the 8 principios.
 
con mucho amor,
ELDER PALMER

I almost forgot to mention that we found a scorpion in the bathroom outside. Our house here is a lot poorer than some others I have lived in. We have a roof made of like shingles---red clay things. And the bathroom and shower are outside. We don´t have a sink. and the house is just one room with a wall divider. However, I kind of like it and put up my hammock and I feel at home here. haha. Also, it is super hot here. I am putting on sunscreen every hour but still getting burned. However, they say that like in a month it should get a little cold here. Who knows if that is true or not.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sept. 17th, 2012

I DONT HAVE TIME TO WRITE MUCH TODAY, SO SORRY ABOUT THAT. I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT WE ARE EXCITED OVER HERE. THINGS ARE GOING WELL, WE FOUND LOTS OF NEW PEOPLE THIS WEEK AND ARE WORKING A LOT. UM...MEXICAN INDEPENDANCE DAY HAPPENED. THAT WAS COOL. A LOT OF PEOPLE INVITED US FOR FOOD. ALSO, WE HAD AN AWESOME SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE IN CHURCH AS WE TAUGHT GOSPEL PRINCIPLES. WE WERE TEACHING ABOUT REPENTANCE, AND THE SPIRIT JUST FILLED UP THE ROOM. WE WERE NOT DONE WITH THE LESSON, BUT IT WAS EVIDENT THAT THE THREE FAMILIES THERE WERE FEELING SOMETHING FROM THE SPIRIT...WE READ ALMA 5:26 AND THEN WE INVITED THEM TO MAKE THE CHANGES THAT THEY NEEDED TO IN THEIR FAMILIES. THE HUSBAND OF THIS ONE LADY THAT WAS A MEMBER REFERENCE, IS NAMED ADANAY AND HE WAS TOTALLY DRUNK YESTERDAY, BUT HE PROMISED TO COME TO CHURCH AND CHANGE HIS LIFE. HE DID, AND IN PRIESTHOOD, THE BROTHERS THAT MANY YEARS AGO WERE IN HIS SITUATION GOT HIM WAY EXCITED ABOUT THE CHANGES THAT WILL COME HIS WAY.

I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. I KNOW ITS TRUE. I DON`T KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT IT, BUT I KNOW ENOUGH AND I HAVE FELT ENOUGH TO FEEL CONVICTION IN MY HEART AS I SAY THAT I KNOW THAT IT IS TRUE.
ELDER GEOFFREY PALMER

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10th, 2012

OK...well, I took my sweet time reading your letters, so this letter wont be soo long. But, the new news would generally have to do with ELDER MILLAN.

He is a small guy from Sitacuaro, Michuacán---ya that is a dangerous place. He says that he was totally used to hearing gunfights and narcotrafficing stuff. He is also a convert of about 3 years. It is very fun being with him. He has 20 months in the mission, but this is his first transfer as ZL. He is very humble, and never acts like he knows everything. He is a little bit quiet, and doesn´t talk a lot, but he does make a lot of little jokes and he is almost always laughing. Como dicen en Mexico, pues, me cae muy bien. It is fun to hear his conversion story and also to relate it to the investigators. Like two weeks after his first time visiting the church he got baptized, and he has a strong testimony. He was the first one to get baptized in his family. Then one or two siblings followed. He came on his mission. And while he has been here, his parents, and another brother got baptized. He also is from a family of 6 kids. I am happy to see him here :)

The Zone is pretty excited right now. Every area has at least one baptism planned for the activity on the 22 of Sept. (the joint baptismal service, and then the testimony meeting thing). We believe that the zone will be able to baptize in between 25 and 30 people this month. We attended a sweet baptismal service to a couple that had gotten married the day before and that we could interview. They are doing great.

We had about 7 investigadores that are progressing and some with baptismal dates in the church yesterday, but an awesome family---the familia Moreno Espinoza didn´t come!!!! We were so excited for them. They were progressing so well, they had prayed, recognized an answer, then they went to an FHE with members and LOVED it. Also, we had given then their own teaching records to go along with their progress. They were set on getting baptized on the 22nd, they had stopped drinking coffee, and all of that in ONE week. Then on sunday morning, they send us a message saying: Sorry, we wont be able to go today because we don´t have enough money to pay tithing. We were like NOO!!! haha. But then in the afternoon we went and visited them, and really they had just heard some stuff against the church from their neighbors and thought that the investigadores had to pay tithing too and that the money went to people, etc...but now they are on track and should get baptized on September 29th. 

Gotta run, Luv ya,
ELDER PALMER

Monday, September 3, 2012

After Almost 50 Years They are Married--Sept. 3rd 2012

                                                             At the registro civil---JUST MARRIED


                                                     Salvador and Rosarios baptism! 



                                         A photo of a part of the ward after church on sunday

OK...now for a quick report of the cool things of this week. First off, we had Zone Leaders Council--which was absolutely incredible. I truly loved it...it was my favorite. There was sooo much good stuff, I don´t know where to start. However, I feel really good with the missionaries in the mission, too. Truly, the majority of the missionaries are just straight up good people. And really, the mission is improving a lot. It was kind of cool to hear about a couple of áreas that started having more than 20 lessons with members present, and two areas that baptized 10 people in one month. I am way stoked. Also, it is fun to see Elder Hercules still. He is sweating it up as ZL in Tonala.

Um...As far as investigators go I want to share the story of Salvador and Rosario. Oh, and for you mom, they are the ones whose son used to be in oklahoma that you called. But ya, they have always had such a sincere desire to follow Christ and to put their life in order. We had been working with the Stake President (who used to work in the civil offices for marriage paperwork) to help their marriage go fast, and it did! They got married on friday, and it was a stressful, but funny experience. We had told them to get there at 12 o clock. However, It began rolling around 12:30, and then 1 o clock and they didn´t come! We were there waiting with the Stake Presidente and the Witnesses (four members of the church). At about 1:15 they came in a taxi way dressed up. It isn`t very common to do that here when you go to sign the papers. But all the people there were like, "Awwww." Because they are an elderly couple and he got in his suit, and she got her hair all put together and her white dress, the whole deal. They got married, and all went well.

In the baptism on Saturday there was a great attendance from the Ward. Brother Galán is the institute director in southern mexico and he is in our ward. He was a fellowshipper for them and he baptized them both :) I helped him baptize Salvador, because that was not so easy even between two people. It was a very spiritual baptism.

On Sunday, they got confirmed and it was pretty awesome :) But the neatest thing is that Salvador got up and gave his testimony. He stutters a lot because of his diabetes, but it was so powerful and the majority of us left thoroughly touched.
That´s most of what is going on. My companion is getting transferred tomorrow. Elder Vite is going to Tepanatapec, Oaxaca. Thats a mouthfull, huh?  Our last transfer we can´t be a Zone Leader, but go and finish as a Senior Companion, so he is going off for his last area. I am staying with an Elder Millan...he is a way humble guy also from Mexico D.F.   Honestly, I am very happy to continue in this area :)  And we are having like 7 changes in the Zone, so WOW that will be coool.

Also, in the Meeting with the stake presidency and the bishoprics we came up with an activity that is called "Bautismos en Grijalva". And we will have a joint baptismal service for all of the investigadores that get baptized that day in the stake. We are praying and preparing so that every area will have at least one child of god ready for that important step of baptism--- 22 of september!!!

Gotta go, EXITO ANIMO SONRISAS Y RISAS.
ELDER PALMER 

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27th, 2012

Ok....well I have a lot to share wth you both :)

First off, before I forget. What did you both decide in coming to pick me up in November? Also, I was wondering if the return flight could pass by Mexico City that would be nice, because a couple of my companions would be able to come to the airport (especially elder vite who lives really close). 

But back to the good stuff. 

Zone Conference: We had a wonderful Zone conference focused on baptism on one hand, and 90 percent focused on christlike attributes. It was really awesome!!! We have a lot of respect for Pdte. Cardenas, and truly he is a very faithful man and he is a good person that wants us to be happy and wants us to baptize the whole world haha. 

Cool story: 3 missionaries got put in jail last week close to Tapachula, but Pdte. Cardenas didn´t know that they were in jail or where they were. They were going to tuxtla in OCC, and the records said that they boarded the bus, but in Tuxtla they weren´t there. President Cardenas sent the assistants to a conference in Oaxaca while he went looking for the missionaries. He had been praying very hard, and after asking many immigration people and having many of them say that they had no idea, a man came up and offered to help. He made a few phone calls and found out that they were sent back to Tapachula in a prision there. As Presidente got there, they wouldn´t let him see them until they had done the paperwork so that they could leave (which takes a long time). After the whole ordeal, he saw them come out. Their shoes and belts and ties were taken away, so they looked really funny, but he saw them super happy. He asked them, how are you?! And they responded that they were so excited and had just taught one of the guards and were sending his name as a reference. They contacted and taught -- even in a little bit of a different situation. That is being a missionary. But they didn´t get hurt or anything, all was well. (but this is not to scare you, it is just a cool experience that happened to a few missionaries)

But ya, also Carmen got baptized. That was a neat experience, and she is really converted. She pretty much can teach us the great apostasy better than many missionaries teach it. Also her sister, Dania, is getting baptized on Sept. 15. And Edgar, Dania´s boyfriend, is such a prepared investigator--he is 21 years old, so stoked to get baptized, and felt the spirit "prompting him that this church is true" during the conference! 

Salvador and Rosario now for real will get baptized this upcoming saturday. They are so special. They are so humble, and have testimonies. They will get "married" after almost 50 years together this wednesday. 

Stake Conference was such a wonderful moment. I felt a lot of personal revelation, and it was great to have the vast majority of the recent converts and various investigators there with us. 

Also, I met a chinese woman and her husband who live in Bountiful and are members, and they don´t really speak spanish (well she doesn´t). So that was cool to say hi to them.

Also, Elder Vite is a good buddy of mine, and he has given lots of opportunities to help him stay focused on the work and not go TRUNKY.

Im happy. Oh and mom...I remind you to update the blog please. Pretty please with a cherry on top. :)

Much love,
ELDER PALMER

                                    The baptism of Carmen with some of the people that came
                                                       Carmen's baptism
                        I am eating the apple crumble---from the person that you sent the recipe, mom.
                                                   I liked this photo haha

THE LAST 11 LETTERS!


AUG 20th           Some letters I bet are boring, so this letter will NOT be BORING.

Now, a quick review of the EXCITING things that happened THIS WEEK.

We are contacting a lot :) we try to be contacting 140 people and teach more than 20 lessons every week, and we are fulfilling those goals frequently.

Most importantly--DANIEL ALBERTO VAZQUEZ IBARRA entered the waters of baptism on Saturday and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost and the priesthood on Sunday. He is 23 years old, already graduated from medical school with his own dentist consultory. His girlfriend is an active member and the future dad-in-law is Alejandro that got baptized with us a couple of weeks ago. But, he is way strong, and we are excited for him.

We made a SIDEWALK as we did a SERVICE PROJECT, and I practiced my cement making abilities. That was awesome. An elderly man there, Salvador and his wife and a few other family members there will be baptized very soon (after they get legally married in this upcoming week). Every time we leave their house he says to us that he loves us. The Grandma also sent us a message yesterday that we arrived in their life right on time, and they are happy in the love of Jesus Christ.

THE IRON ROD ACTIVITY- JARDINES WARD - was an awesome project that we could lead (my companion did most of it, because he had already done the activity a couple of times). There were many investigators there and a lot of fun. At first we were there with like two families, and it was kind of like....um ok this will be kind of low scale. But then we invited the young men and women from other wards and the people leaving a baptism from another ward and BOOM it was a rockin activity. I, included was led into the vapor of darkness haha. But then, the bishop got up and gave such a SPIRITUAL testimony as he invited the members to avoid temptations and not let trivial things impede us getting our hershey´s kiss hahha...nah our ETERNAL LIFE!!! As we did the activity we turned off the lights and put on the fans in the rooms and with the rope we led it to different parts. We "hid" the tree of life (but put it where it was at first) and then had a lot of people tempting people to leave, and almost all failed at least once. But it was fun, and a good experience for the investigators too.

"Elders, My BOYFRIEND AND I WANT TO GET BAPTIZED so can you guys start teaching us everything we need to know?" Is what Dania, an 18 year old and Edgar a 23 year old that sincerely want to change their lives. Dania is the sister of a girl that is getting baptized this Saturday in our Ward. (Carmen) who is the cousin of other recent converts. So September 15th they are  getting baptized.

Also, we EAT SOOOOO GOOD in this ward. I love it. And I love the members in this ward a bunch…they are awesome.

Also, the ZONE is improving A LOT!!! ZONE CONFERENCE THIS UPCOMING SATURDAY...I will fill you in on that next week. I love this work, and when it is sometimes really hard or stressful stuff...its all good because everything I am learning now is helping me a lot in my conversion.
Also---P.M. means puntualidad mexicana...one hour late hahahaha.        Much love


                            Thats right, I am a construction worker now. Making cement is rather fun and hard work. 
                                                       Daniel and his lady on the day of his baptism

                                                 A  few peoiple that helped us preprare the sacrament meeting room for the activity

AUG 13th
I don`t have almost any more time, but I want to share one experience. Yesterday, an awesome member of the church was giving us the lunch (him and his family are always supporting us), and suddenly he said he wanted to sing us a song. He grabbed his guitar and sang us a song about Helaman`s warriors and missionary work. And then afterwards began to cry and hugged us. He then began to share how it breaks his heart when he sees ex-missionaries not living the gospel well. He invited us to be truly converted to the Gospel, not just now, but for all of life. I got a little emotional, and I remembered the grand importance of truly being converted. Yes, I hope to help the Zone contact 140 people every week, and baptize people every week, but also I want to help myself, my companion, and the Zone become truly converted for the rest of their life. 

sincerely, 
ELDER GEOFFREY PALMER





AUG 6th
Ok. And first off, wow! Dallin and Angela are serious aren´t they? December 18th is pretty soon.
Oh ya, and speaking of that, I am not trunky but I was talking with Pres. Cardenas about you guys coming, and that is still awesome. However, y´all should probably get in contact with the mission offices here or with the travel place of the church. He suggested that you guys come on Thursday Nov. 29th and we can be here as long as you guys want to. How long do yall want to be here? I want to be here the most that you guys do, but just to get that planned out would be good. I began my mission Nov. 17th, but the transfers aren´t until the 26th and from 27-29th we go to the temple and our with the missionaries from our "generation", which would be cool to do. But what is y´all´s plan? 

Another thing. with my blog, are yáll still doing it and putting the photos up there?

OK. As far as last week. The baptism of the Perez Lopez family was excellent. President had to interview the parents, but all went well, and they are now giving us the "comida" on Wednesdays to help the retention and keep contact. As far as Alejandro Ruíz, it was a miracle. He is a military guy and he got baptized on Tuesday (his whole family are members from like 20 years). However, on Friday, the military called him to work on Sunday in Michoacán. He was going to go, and to make a long story short they Alejandro got in a big fight with his wife, and almost said that they would get divorced (which is weird because they always have had a great relationship). He left the house, and as he was leaving Tuxtla felt impressed to turn around and fix things. He returned, postponed his work, and got confirmed, received the priesthood and is very happy about it. He also gave his testimony to the boyfriend of his daughter that he should make a decision for himself if he is going to get baptized or not. An hour later, we received a message that he wants to get baptized on August 18th. 

Also, EFY went on for the first time here in Tuxtla. It was a huge success with 900 kids from the whole state...some of them indigenous people. A couple of our recent converts and investigadores went there, and Carmen (a niece of a recent convert) told us that she is getting baptized on August 23rd. Also Yazmin is 23 years old, and her mom and sister got baptized in June, but she will get baptized this Saturday :)

Elder Vite and I are great friends. We passed by a few difficulties this week, but are supporting one another very well. I am very happy right now. Spiritually, I feel great. We are going to focus on helping the ZONE have a lot of success this month, and that every area can baptize :)

Oh, and please send Whitney my love. I fasted for her yesterday.
Well, that is all. I love you both dearly.        ELDER PALMER

JULY 30th---Photos of the baptism
                                         All went well as the Perez Lopez family got baptized and Alejandro got baptized! 
                                                   Salvador and Rosario should be next week. 

JULY 23rd
I totally read the article. (http://spokane.latterdaysentinel.com/archiveEmail.asp?theEmail=178 )   That is a pretty sweet article on your mission.
Also, I met Elder Barrow the other day...he seems like a great guy but I didn`t really get to know him very well. He had told me that his sister was in Barton Creek Ward I think, but i didn´t connect the dots that that would mean that you would meet her :)
ELDER VITE AND I STAYED THE SAME. So truthfully we are kind of super stoked about that. Especially we wanted to be together for various baptisms this week:
Alejandro...his wife and his two kids are active members. He has been married for almost twenty years with her. He had his interview yesterday and will get baptized tomorrow. He is a fine man, and will be a future leader in the church. In one year…. I will come with Elder Vite when they get sealed.
La familia Ballina...guess what? The guy from Oklahoma is now in our area! He came home  and we are now teaching him. His parents are going to get marred on Friday and baptized on Sunday, if all goes well. The stake president here will help us get them married.
La familia Perez: Mateo, Lulu and their two daughters, Nayeli, and Alondra, also are preparing to get baptized this Saturday. But Mateo might not be able to, because he is really sick right now.  I love you both a ton!!! Y´all are the Best!
                          Those ants. They are called Nuku. I ate them. They taste really good fried. 
                                                                       ELDER VITE


JULY 16th    Mom, I totally remember when you told me that one of your favorite scriptures is D.C. 123:17. As I read your letter,  I thought of that scripture. I know that all will go well, as we do all we can and trust in God.  PLEASE send deep and sincere love to every member of our family. Especially, Whitney, Jasmine, Chelsea, and Nathan...and Angela. OK. I think I just said everyone. 

Oh, and mom, if you can try to call the guy from Oklahoma on Wednesday, I am going to tell his mom to tell him to answer. Just this time you guys could talk to him in spanish maybe haha. Thanks for having called him last week. Oh, and his parents are probably going to get baptized on the 28 de Julio. 

Unfortunately, I have almost no time right now to write, but it has been a great week. 

Quick rundown:
-With the family of the oklahoma guy, we did a service project and I learned to make cement, and we more or less put in a sidewalk there. That was a neat experience.
-A family that one of the kids didn´t want to listen just changed, and everyone is listening, and we feel like they will reach their goal to get baptized on August 4th. 
-On sunday, we taught priesthood and relief society about missionary work from the George A. Smith manual. It was AWESOME. We got up the members practicing, etc...and they totally are stoked. This week we should find a bunch of references.

I am happy. Life is good. The work is true. The people are great. My family is awesome! haha. 


JULY 9th
Dear family....well mom and dad.
Mom----Important things!!!
     I have an important reference for you...He lives in Oklahoma, and he is the son of an elderly lady who came to church with her husband today at church. Crying, she told me that her son is drinking a lot, and he feels so lonely. Right now I just have his phone number, but later I will try to get his address. If you could call him right away and try to pass the reference somehow it would mean a lot for her. And I bet that he will progress.
His number is:(   )...thats how she talks to him, but I don´t know if that is how you would call it from the U.S. Im a little rusty on how phone numbers work there.
     I heard that after 2 years in mexico, one can become a mexican citizen, can you check that out? I totally want citizenship in four countries! N.Z., England, Mexico, and U.S.
Now to the mormon lion.
Sometimes letters are boring, so I will begin with an interesting joke that I heard from my companion. Once, in Africa there were two missionaries that were walking to another town when suddenly a lion began to pursue them. They didn´t know what to do, and so one of them said, " I know...we should pray and ask God that the lion can be converted a member of the true church." So they prayed, asked for that, and then kept running. After a couple of miles, the lion was almost on top of them. They stopped, and the missionary said, "Didn´t we ask God that we could be converted to the Gospel? I´m confused, it didn´t work..." But as they stopped and looked at the lion, he folded his arms and the lion said, "Father, I thank thee for this food that thou hast given me, please help it to nourish and strengthen my body...etc"      Haha. I thought it was funny.
Now on spiritual sides of things. I feel very spiritually uplifted. On wednesday, Elder Vite and I were in a lot of prayer and thought, and made a Personal Purifying List, and then a List for companions. We made a list of certain things that we feel we should change or get better, or not do, etc...to fully give our will to the Father. I have about 14 things on my personal list, and we have about 11 on our companionship one. We are keeping track of how many days we have been doing it (today is day #6) and we will view it as a 40 day fast. We have seen lots of blessings, and we have found many new people and families to teach.
I feel pretty happy on the spiritual side. A cool experience happened on Sunday....in the ward… often they have problem organizing service activities, because no one generally comes. However, an old man came to church with his wife, and while we were in Priesthood, he started thanking and crying for the help he has received this week. We found him, taught him, and a Brother from the ward who came to our lesson shared how his rented house has a lot of needs, and boom the men in the room began to offer cement, supplies, etc. and this Friday we are going to help in that project. The spirit was really strong in the room in that moment.




JULY2nd
Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, I´m the only one with a nametag on in our family right now. How strange, and how fast time passes. I am so grateful for the way that missionary service has blessed my life. I just want to take the time now to thank you both for your service as missionaries. I want to express deep gratitude to you both, and to our Father in Heaven, for the grand privilege it was to spend such special time together in Spokane. Those are fond moments that have shaped my character and formed my testimony. I am so grateful for you both as parents, and a pray dearly that you find yourself safe and sound. And happy. I am not homesick, and I don´t think I ever will be (maybe because I haven´t decided where is my home haha), but I recognize that things will be different when I get back. No one will be a missionary...how weird! I am just going to work the very most I can these last six months. But, I want to emphasize that right now I thank you both for everything you both have done for me in the last two years. I don´t know how to describe it. I love you both so dearly. You both are my best friends.
Mom...thanks for your rockin´ package...that probably was one of the best ones that I have got. I went to the mission office, and opened it up with the assistants and secretaries...they sure enjoyed their part haha. They also got a little laugh out of the pink picture album, because they thought it was a purse. But I am going to put stickers about it and then it will be awesome.
Can I share a bit about the week? Well, on Wednesday, we had a leadership training throughout the mission and it was wonderful. We talked about the people, no numbers, about the firmness of the baptismal dates that we set, the invitation baptismal, etc. One thing we talked a lot about that was pretty awesome was "áreas de oportunidad". Every week we take out 5 Áreas de Oportunidad (AdeO), which are areas in which we haven´t reached our potential as a Zone, and then we think about the cause of the situation and the solution. We then call the district leaders, who inform their district members of these 5 AdeO, with the object to apply them each individually to every area. Then, the goals become personal, and not just vague wishes. Some of that is just the way I do it, but ya, I liked that part.
Um, Elder Mortensen is one district leader we have that is from UTAH. I get along really well with him, and have been focusing on his district these last three weeks (and the next three weeks I will be focusing on the other district). He is really a great guy, and is humble. He lacks like one transfer before he will be going home, but he is still looking for ways to improve. Sometimes, he calls me to ask how he can make his DIS. MEETING better. Well, on Thursday, I got to sit in on their district meeting, and a sweet spirit filled the room. It was so special. We started talking about needs in the area, and BOOM it was just like talking about people´s salvation, and it was so neat. Then we began to practice and the spirit was still so strong...I was crying a little bit and like 2 or three other missionaries. My companion walked in the room, because the other District had finished their meeting and he just said WOW. the spirit is soo strong in the room right now. You can feel the difference, etc. I was so happy for Elder Mortensen.
Um...what else? The bishop is like a friend to me. I want you both to meet him one day. Google " el cañon del sumidero - chiapas" That is totally in our Zone and it is gorgeous. We went to the viewing spots above, and we are going to ask for permission to go in boat below with our bishop.
I am learning a bit about how to help people who are having serious problems in the mission. There are many times that are learning experiences.
Just so you know, Mom, I am happy that I came at 18 years old. I receive lots of witnesses that I am here at the right time in the right place. And I hope to be doing the right things.
LOts of LOvE fOr bOtH oF yOu,      ELDER PALMER
P.s. don´t be getting trunky you two...oh wait, yall are already done with the mission! Nah, I am just kidding. But still, thats sooo weird, it hasn´t really "hit me" yet. haha

JUNE 25th    Dearest MOM mama madre MOTHER female leader of family. Mah. mOmMy. ok. Im done haha.
So, I don´t have much time to write...cause we are going to go play soccer with the ZONE! But, what is your new direction in Texas? I mean address? You are going to live in texas right? haha.
But this week was good, I am stoked for the Zone, because it is improving a lot. And us too, a few people were going to get baptized, but they are facing obstacles right now. However, pretty soon, more people are going to get baptized, and Ill tell you about them later.
Cool story. So, two converts. Alicia and Eveling, are really smart and were very doubtful about baptisms for the dead. Then, after we left they told us that the Mom sat down and prayed out loud to have understanding and to be able to know if it was a true principle. She opened her eyes, and then grabbed a Liahona that a member had given her and opened it in that very instant to a page that explains why we get baptized for the dead, she said "I didn´t know prayers could get answered so fast!" She got a testimony, and went on Friday, and they loved it!
That same member that gave the Liahona is Brother Galán. He is awesome, in charge of institute in Chiapas, and was an ex- mission president counselor. He gave an inspiring class of such spiritual power to our "Elders Quorum"...this Sunday, it was just us two, him, and investigator, and one other member. But he didn´t worry about few people, and just gave a WOW class. I was changed, and inspired to never lose excitement about the work. It was on Pres. Uchtdorfs talk in Priesthood the last conference. the WHY behind priesthood service, not just the WHAT.
I gotta go! Love you a bunch, and I feel very good right now.
I can´t believe that next week yall might be in TEXAS!!!! How weird. PLEASE SAY BYE TO THE BYERS FOR ME. AND ALSO SAY BYE TO OTHER PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW ARE IMPORTANT FOR ME.
Love,
ELDER PPALMEERR

JUNE 17    First off...I want to answer the questionnaire you sent.
Is Elder Vite Mexican? Yes.  Where is he from?  Mexico City  What do you love about him?  He is way funny and for me he is easy to get along with. He is also very focused on baptism and his purpose. He is very direct and very good with people. What are you learning from him? The importance of inviting more often people to baptism...we invite 14 people with a baptismal date this week, and it wasn´t just a number. It was truly seeing if they would accept it, and Elder Vite never beats around the bush...sometimes he just asks an investigator that we have had, while he just got to know them, What is it that impedes you to get baptized? He does that question a lot, and in a good way. We are going to have a lot of success together.
Are you easily busy in a day, or do you have to find things to do and search for things? This week has been pretty chock full of things to do. We taught 14 lessons with members, 12 others, and 4 lessons with less actives.
Are you tired most of the time or is missionary life pretty easy and normal for you? Just when I get emotionally down or hard on myself life is hard...generally I am learning to love missionary life. And I am so happy this last transfer and this one, because I feel like finally I am really being myself and trying to be the best missionary I can at the same time.
Do you wake up easily?  Do you fall asleep easily? I fall asleep very easily, except when we have something really exciting going on the next day, like a lot of baptisms or something like that. About 2 months ago, it was always way easy to wake up, but recently it has become a little bit harder...But I am always on my feet at 6 20, and after I get some fresh air, I am up and at it. And in a normal day, I am not tired during the day.
Do you see much of your mission president now you are closer in? Ya a lot more, and I have to call him to ask permission for things a lot more. I am finally getting to know him.
Where is Elder Hercules? He is a Zone Leader in Tapachula right now...he is sweating it up right now! I almost died for heat there in winter...imagine summer! Ooooh.  He went there after 10 and a half months in the offices!
How did your talk in ZLC go about pride? It went well, and I enjoyed studying it. It was convenient because they made a lot of nice comments about our work, and so I was already in the mindset of giving the praise to God and not soaking it up ourselves.
How are you doing for money and food? Um...not so well. Haha. But don´t worry, its just I bought Elder Covington´s hammock. So, if you can this week, it would be nice to receive a little bit more for backup money...because I used my backup money. But if not, I won´t complain haha.
How is your bathroom situation? Going to the bathroom is not so much a problem here, especially because we have a powerful toilet and I don´t have to use a bucket (like in Independencia).
Did you have many come to church this week that came when you had almost 20?  are they progressing? I didn´t really understand your question...I think it is if the 17 people that came to church a couple of weeks ago are still coming.  And yes, 9 of them are now Recent Converts, so they still came yesterday.
In what ways are you changing? I am changing physically haha. Nah, thats not the question...but by the way I am six foot ten right now. I grew a lot haha. Just kidding. But ya, I am changing a ton. I am learning to lead a companionship and other people, without being bossy. I am senior companion to a missionary that almost his whole mission has been district leader with a young companion, so I learn from that too. I am learning to trust more in God. I am learning how to stay happy in the middle of difficulties. I am learning how to reach goals that I set. I am just a lot more happy right now. Truly, I have changed soooo much these last 6 weeks. I am also a little more confident in myself, most of the time...in other words I beat up on myself a little less frequently.
What are your strengths as a missionary? 1. I love people, and try to never say bad things about other people. 2. I am focused on the work, and don´t get distracted. 3. I recognize that I have weaknesses and I try to constantly be improving.
How are you using your faith and strengthening it? I am trying to use my faith with the goals we set, or that other missionaries in the Zone set. I try to use faith as we plan the actions we will take, and as we reach our goals. I try to strengthen it as I soak it all up when investigators share how their testimony is growing. When investigators (or converts) share a spiritual experience they had, my faith grows a lot.
What are you studying right now? It depends. 20 minutes I am doing the Book of Mormon highlighting thing that yáll challenged me to do. 20 minutes PME---generally scriptures for the missionary discussions 1-4 and 20 minutes one of the 8 principles. Also, I have studied a lot recently on how to set and reach goals, and have been focused on strengthening my testimony of the restoration.
Are you seeing the little miracles in every day?  Sometimes. I can get better on this one. When I write in my journal, I do. But it has been very difficult recently to find time, while I am trying to increase our communication with the district leaders. But, I will try to improve!!!
Do you still love your mom?  Just checking! I love you sooooo much. My love for you and dad has deepened immensely. I am very proud to have you both as parents, and am certain that we will be best friends after the mission.
I’m out of time. LOVE YA!

JUNE 11th
ELDER PALMER  So...this week was pretty sweet. However, the Covington/Palmer era has finished, and Elder Vite will be coming here. I was actually his companion for one week in Tapachula while I was waiting for Elder Dìaz to get over Denge. He is a really funny guy, and we get along really well. We always were joking around asking ourselves when we would be companions together, etc...haha. And now we are. They say he has been baptizing a lot of people, and he comes from Ocosingo as a District Leader right now, so he will fill me in on Yajalon and Ocosingo--:)
This will be interesting to be senior companion, and I will have to take a few more decisions, but I am pretty excited.
I don`t have a ton to write today...truthfully. But a quick rundown of the week. First off, yesterday Elder Covington baptized an 8 year old kid and confirmed him. I forgot my camera and so I can`t send the photo...but ya, it was pretty cool.
We are enjoying eating with the converts on Mondays and Tuesdays, and we are excited for Alicia and Tania and Ana Isabel that Bishop might call as Ward Missionaries. It was a great joy to see all of the converts we have in this area come to church, along with 9 investigators. Josè Alberto has a neighbor and friend that has come to church, went to his baptism, and is way stoked. He will get baptized on the 30th. Also, the president of the Young Women is a great sister, and we work with her family a lot. Her daughter`s boyfriend, 23 years old, dentist, great guy...will get baptized in the 23rd of June. Also, her husband is a non member in the army living in Michoacán. The missionaries came to his house, and he set a baptismal date, but he will come to Tuxtla to get baptized in our ward with his family the 14th of July...so I am excited and grateful for that opportunity. Also, Nayeli, a young girl who went to the Mexico Temple Visitor`s center will be baptized this Saturday, if her dad gets out of the hospital in time.
We are finding a lot of people, too. I love this ward, and hope that we can baptize all of the peple that God has prepared for us, and help them stay active. 
Sooo...for today thats about all. Mom, next week do me another questionnaire, and then I will get more ideas of stuff to tell you.
Oh ya, and one other thing...the ward had 102 people! Thats the first time I`ve been in a ward or branch over a 100 in my mission! :)
Your son, ELDER PALMER

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Dearest Mother and Father,

I really enjoyed reading your letters. It sounds like such a wonderful experience you both have had this week with various baptismal services and lots going on. I can`t imagine how you all are feeling with this last month coming on. I can imagine the determined attitude that you both have to leave the mission in the best condition possible for the next mission president.

Well, I have had a wonderful week, and also some sad news. I´ll get the sad things out first. I heard a couple of hours ago that Eneyda -- that got baptized in Independencia -- passed away. It is really real to me....the plan of salvation. It didn`t shock me, because I had known it was possible, but it still surprised me a little bit. I feel the impression that as soon as I can (after the mission) I should do the temple work for her...do I have to wait a whole year for that?

On Tuesday, we have Zone Leader`s Council. It was very very interesting. I don`t know if I mentioned that last time, new rules were introduced 1. we ccn`t play with any animals and 2. we can`t eat from stands on the street (the second one is soooo hard!) But this Council, there weren`t any new rules. Last transfer various Zone Leaders changed and this coming transfer 8 more will change...making the majority of the Zone Leaders new...so that will be interesting to see. It is cool to see in other areas how their attitude affects sooo much the results and the success that they have. Elder Hercules this transfer will be leaving the offices (after 10 and a half months) and go out, probably as a ZL. I`m crossing my fingers, because I know that Elder Covington will be transferred this transfer.

I feel sooo happy to be in this area. So. Saturday. It was pretty special the Baptismal Service. Lots of members came, and their weren`t enough seats so some of us had to stand. There were a couple of talks, we sang a special musical number, and then the ordenance. First, the Hernandez Family was baptized. We were behind the scenes with Anabelly and her four kids. We took turns baptizing and it was so fun, spiritual, and happy. Josè Alberto is 13 years old, and he was sooo happy to be baptized with pretty much his whole family. It was very special. Then Alicia and Evelyn were baptized. Also, very special. Afterwards, the Primary President gave a welcome and Faith in God to Alondra, the YW Pres gave Personal Progress to Evelyn and Viviana, the Bishop gave Duty to God to Josè Alberto, and the Relief Society Pres gave a welcome to Alicia and Anabelly and Tania. Afterwards, Evelyn and Alicia (the two on the left side of the photo) gave their testimonies. They are both very intelligent, and gave firm testimonies. She shared how she had attended 8 years pretty faithfully a Christian Church and never felt to get baptized, and here in less than a month she could prepare herself for that step. It was pretty special all of it. I am so grateful for the opportunity that God gave me to see that!

Um...the confirmations were neat, too. With Josè, they mentioned that he would serve a mission, and with Alicia (without knowing anything beforehand) they told her that her organs would function correctly...she had surgery one month ago.

What else? Um...I went on divisions with Elder Finn--who has 5 weeks in Mexico. That was fun to remember the beginning. That also was interesting to feel what it is like to have to teach a large portion of the lessons. But he is great.

Nayeli is a 19 year old girl studying biology. She has come to church 2 times, and her Mom 6 times. She had a baptismal date...but truly it wasn`t really that firm, because we still don`t know her super well and things like that. But on Saturday she said that she wants to get baptized. So, if her Dad gets out of the Hospital before Saturday, she will get baptized then.

We eat really well here. The members send us pizza, tamales, and more tamales, and more tamales. Haha. Its awesome. And we drink lots of Pozol...Blanco or de Cacao. I like Pozol de Cacao the best. Google it...its awesome. Speaking of Pozol, Alicia--who got baptized--was the sister that we ate with today for the meal, and she gave us a ton of pozol. And right now I am having stomach pains cause I drank too much, soo I think I will go now. But, I love you both bunches! EEEXXXIIITTTOOOO!!!!!

ELDER PALMER