Monday, August 27, 2012

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

2 comments:

  1. Elder Vite y Palmer.
    Les agradesco tocaran a mi puerta un dia, y que me ayudaran a conocer un poco mas a dios, les dejo mis saludos y mis mejores deseos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! Now, your personalized Priesthood Line of Authority is beautifully laminated featuring the classic portrait of Jesus Christ by the renowned artist Greg Olsen.

    ReplyDelete