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Monday, May 28, 2012

Pictures 5/28/2012

Craziest week ever!

Wow, craziest week ever. This is all going to be really fast and maybe not make any sense, haha.

So we baptized Itzel this week! We went to the area of the Zone Leaders on thursday because she lives in their boundaries, but like I told you guys she works in our area all day every day so we got to teach and baptize her. Her testimony after the baptism was beautiful, she was really happy and talked about how she finally completed the search that she had been on her whole life. The Zone leaders confirmed her in their war on sunday.

We went on divisions with our district on Friday. I went with Elder Vasquez, he has like 5 weeks on the mission but already knows how to teach really good, we had 5 lessons in the day and convinced this mother with some good scriptures to give permission to her son to get baptized. We also taught this really creepy guy and Elder Vasquez told me he´s not going to return. Elder DeFreese and Elder Carmona found a guy named Gregorio in our area. When they pulled out the Book of Mormon to show him, he turned the book over and saw the logo of our church, the letters that are on our name tags. Elder Carmona told me that he stared at it for like 30 seconds and then said, I dreamed about this... This church, this logo. I was in a place with a ton of people, and I was really lost, and then I saw this big, beautiful, white building with these words on it. Elder DeFreese said his jaw dropped and he couldn´t believe what he was hearing. So on sunday he came to church with us and he accepted to be baptized on the 9th of june if he receives an answer to his prayers. We also had two other investigators in church and brought a 11 year old boy that hasn´t been for awhile because his mom works, but he loves church and is a member so we took him with us. It was one of our better sundays.

The heat was ridiculous this week. SOOOO HOTTTTT! They say it was up in the mid 40´s in celcius. I´ve never been in more heat in my life, haha it´s quite the adventure. We sweat like dogs and have to drink lots and lots of water. And don´t worry, I am in fact using sun screen. (I know, its surprising)

Today for p-day we went to the house of a member and helped him paint some of his house. Think we got more paint on ourselves than on the walls but that´s ok. It was fun to help out, I wish the members would let us serve them more, sometimes we have to be really sneaky when we try and wash the dishes after the comida, usually the hermanas get mad if they catch us washing dishes.

But that is just the begining of what I have to tell you. I got a call from our zone leader today while we were buying food, and he asked me if the assistents had talked to me yet... I told him no whats going on, and he said "your leaving your area." I thought he was just informing me early for the changes or something, we are still missing two weeks to finish the change, but he told me that I  am taking a bus to Veracruz at 3 in the morning on Wednesday. He said that it was "emergency changes," don´t know what happened but with 200 misionaries, sometimes we get put in weird predicaments if something happens, So I am going to a place in Veracruz called the "Tuxtlas" (which means I am staying in the mission Veracuz when the mision splits) I have heard some cool and crazy stuff about the area. One, that is the place where all the wiches and stuff are (not kidding, people who practice weird rituals and witchcraft and stuff, there is some weird stuff that happens there. Not worried because I have the priesthood :) and Elder DeFreese told me that they baptize a ton there. So I am super excited but I feel super weird because it´s out of the blue, haha. I would have liked to finishe the change iwht Elder Carmona because we are way good friends and we have some awesome investigators, but I´m excited for change too!

I love you all tons, love hearing about the week and I love love love all the pictures!!

Behave good!! Hope the week treats you all good!
Elder Eastmond

Monday, May 21, 2012

Faith and Prayer

Buenas tardes mi querida familia!

How are things going at the good old house?? I hope good, it sounds like it from your emails!

This week was interesting. We are going to baptize Itzel this Thursday, we are pretty excited about that. We prayed for a while to get permission from her mom and she finally gave it to her. We have so many experiences about prayer here in the mission field. Some big things, some little things. But there are two things that I know for sure about prayer. 1) God will always answer our prayers 2) He answers them in his own time. I have learned many times that if we pray for something we aren´t always going to receive an answer the next day. I used to think that faith was believing that I was going to receive, believing with everything i had that god was going to give me what I was asking for. But I have learned that Faith means that whatever answer we get to our prayers, whatever happens, we will act on that answer, and we will work just as hard or harder if nesecary to do all in our power to do what the Lord wants us to do.

We realized something that we haven´t been doing as much as we should be doing, so we are excited to try it this week. We were reading in Predicad mi evangelio and found a part where it says to invite people to be baptized the first time we vistit them. We realized that we had fallen in that a little bit. So we set a goal this week to do a baptism invitation with every person that we find this week, and we feel like its going to help us alot.

We had stake conference this week, and Presidente Treviño and his wife came and spoke to us, it was great. We talked to him afterwards about our area and what we are doing to have success and all that jazz. We told him that we were working as hard as possible but it has been kind of hard lately. He just smiled and told us that the area is a little bit tricky, but that it is meant to test us, try us, and there are lots of little tricks and techniques that we are going to learn from the area. But he was really happy that we are working hard and enjoying ourselves alot in this work. I feel like I´m going after this change, because he told us to work super hard before we see changes, and then told Elder Carmona, "except for you Elder, you won´t be seeing any changes" so we will see what happens.

We found this 80 year old man last week, suposedly he was baptized, but doesn´t remember receiving the holy ghost... sound like he just doesn´t remember but hes actually got a really good memory, you´d be surprised, but we are going to check in the computer on sunday to check. But he had stopped going to church for some reason forever ago, and had started going to a christain church by his house. But we told him that he needs to return and helped him realized again that this is the true church, and we invited him to come to stake conference with us. He told us super quick ya I´ll come, and we told him sweet we will pass by with a member in a car to bring you. He firmly told us that he would go solo, because he wanted to walk, (he told us he really, really likes to walk) We thought ok wow, hes totally lying to us, haha but he wouldn´t budge in his desicion. So we showed up to stake conference a little late because we had to pass by for a couple of people (none of them were home) and so we didn´t get to see who had shown up or not, because the front row was open and we sat there. But after the two hours, we went outside and there he was, looking happy as could be. He had left his house at 9 in the morning to get to the chapel by ten. And the chapel was different than ours, because of conference, so it is out of our area. But he still showed up, it made our day. He said he really enjoyed it.

On saturday we took the son of our mision leader with us for the morning to all of our lessons, that was super cool becuase he is super pumped to go on a mision and it was good for him to get an idea of missionary work. He is great, he is a really good example to us because we were talking to him about what he likes to do and stuff and he told us, I dunno, I just like to go to church. And he was dead serious too, I told him that the world could use more people like him.

We got a couple of new american misionaries in the zone. They are awesome, of couple of really really tall Elders from California and Utah. But it is funny to look at all the new misionaries come in, they are all super great, scared to death, and have tons and tons of questions, and think mexico´s like the craziest place ever. Its funny too to look at how much we have changed alreayd, how much i have changed. I dunno what it is, but you can just tell the ones who have been on the mission for a while and the ones who just got here in like a 5 minute conversation without asking how much time they have. I am so grateful for this chance that I have to let god mold me into who I´m gonna be for the rest of my life, I´m trying to let him do it without too much trouble, Im sure he gets frustrated with me at times but thats why we have the atonement right? :)

I love you all sooooo much!! tHanks for the prayers!! and emails!!

Elder Eastmond

Ps the fotos of the temple are some that our misson leader took of his sealing, he went over the weekend and borrowed the camerera! The other one is a giant bug :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pictures 5/14/2012

Has anyone noticed that Tyler is still the shortest one in this picture.
Even the Latinos are taller than him...

"Lost Child Street"
Could be Calle ELDER Perdido now...

Mother's Day suckers and "Lost Child Street"


It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good to see you guys on sunday, I wanted to talk you all for like 4 hours but that will have to wait for a while. You all looked so good and so happy, Elder Carmona and I decided it was a good thing to wait until Sunday to call home, cuz we both felt a little homesick. When I ran out to give Irving his keys, he asked me "esta trunky Elder?" and I said ya I only got five minutes left and he just started laughing.

I still can´t believe how deep Devin´s voice was.... that was kinda weird. But aw you all looked so good, you haven´t changed at all! I love you guys all so much and send a ton of prayers your way, thank you all for your prayers. And thank you for being such an amazing family, I have the best family in the entire world!!! Les Amo mucho!!

We just went to Centro (it´s like main street) and bought district ties, like when we were in the MTC, except our district is only 4 people so it is kinda different. We were talking about how everyone is for sure to stay in the mission Xalapa except for me... Elder DeFreese is training, so him and his nuevo stay for another change, and Elder Carmona just got here. There is a possibilty that I would stay and a possliblitly that i would go, it will be interesting to see what happens. I got an email from president today (we always get like a two sentence email from him every week in response to our letters) and he told me to teach Elder Carmona the area, where all the investigators and members are really fast. So that was kinda interesting but who knows what will happen.

For mothers day, we took suckers to all of the Hermanas and put a quote on it from President Hinckley, and asked them all to invite someone to church or invite to listen to us, we shared the scripture about the 2000 stripling warriors with them and how their mothers taught them how to trust in God. Then we read the verse were it says not a single person died in the battle, and they fought as with the strength of god, unlike anything anyone had every seen before, and it was all thanks to their mothers. They all loved that, they said that no misionaries had ever done something like that before. Mom, dad, and grandma, thank you for always teaching me to put my trust in God! :)

This week for district class we had a fun experience. If you looked at the photos I sent, there is one that has a sign of a street, and it says "niño perdido" which means "lost child". Well it so happens that in the area of Elder DeFreese, his church is on this street. So we had districe class in his chapel on tuesday, and we had to take a taxi to their area, usually the drivers know where the churches are but this one didnt. So we were on the phone with Elder DeFreese the whole time trying to figure out where to go to get to his chapel. Well we thought we got the right place, the driver dropped us off and we started to go down these stairs that Elder DeFreese told us we needed to go down. When we got to the bottom we were on some random street and when we called Elder DeFreese to ask him where we were, he didn´t know. So we spent about ten minutes asking all the people, "disculpe, buscamos por la calle niño perdido, sabe donde esta?" (Excuse me, we are looking for the street, lost child, do you know where it is) It was hilarious, because we truly were a couple of lost children and had no idea where we were, and everyone knew it too, and most of the people it was all they could do to keep from laughing. So finally we made it to the chapel after a while but it was pretty funny.

We found a good amount of new investigadors this past week, one is name Inocencio. He is 80 years old and we talked to him after we talked to you guys on skype, turns out he has killed 4 people.... 3 were on a motor bike and he was driving a bus, it was a complete accident but he hit them and killed them. The other aparently tried to stab him with a knife so he shot him and did 10 years for prison.... We will see if we can help him...

Thursday morning at 5 in the morning, we had the worst lighting storm i´ve ever seen in my life.... Pretty sure a couple hit a couple streets over, not kidding one bit, the power went out and everything, and the house was shaking pretty good. I looked down at my companion from the top bunk and said "we´re going to die" and he just started laughing.

It was kinda cool that Elder Carmona could talk to you guys somewhat, he actually can understand and speak quite abit. He knows alot of funny phrases and sayings in English, sometimes when were are just walking in silience he will say one out of nowhere and I am always laughting for like 5 minutes after that. The other day he said "There are two kinds of people in the World. The best... and the rest." It was pretty funny.

Well i love you all tons and tons and tons!!! It was so good to see your faces, thank goodness for technology these days, no? Have a great week!!!!

Elder Eastmond Jr.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pictures 05/07/2012

Elder Carmona

Well... I have my new companion, Elder Carmona, and he´s awesome!! We are already way good friends, he got here Tuesday afternoon, and we have been working like dogs this week! (or should I say, like missionaries) He is from the same generation as me, just has more time in the Field because he didn´t have to learn spanish. It has helped soooooo much to have a mexican companion, My spanish has improved so much in just this week. I feel like I can understand alot more, because it´s all I hear all day. When he got here on Tuesday, he was like, you didn´t know Spanish before your mission? I told him no and he was like, well the gift of tongues is real! It was pretty cool, we don´t have any problems understanding eachother at all. We are both super excited to be so young but working together as co mayores. We want to try to do an activity with one of our wards each week, we tried to set one up last week...two people showed up. We will keep working on it. :) Being co mayor is weird but we are both learning so much faster. I havent had any problems with talking on the phone to everyone or with the area, and all the members already love Elder Carmona. He is ready to work, super obedient, super diligent, and is really good at teaching.

Elder Carmona told me that the people here in Poza Rica are alot more hard hearted than the people in his area, we are going to start trying to take some different approaches to finding people. We had a lot of cool experiences this week with investigators. Turns out Itzel does really have a strong testimony and everything....we talked to her good about everything this week and she knows its true and we are pretty sure she wants to do it for the right reasons. We were going to baptized her on friday, but she had been telling us the whole time that she was 18...turns out she was only 17 and her mom didn´t want to sign the cedula. (if you´re under 18 you have to get permision from your parents to get baptized.) So we told her to pray and fast about it (and that we would too) and explain to her mom that she´s more happy now than she ever has been. We met with her the next day and she said that she had given her mom some stuff to read in the book of mormon, and she told her parents that "the Hermanos are fasting and praying too, and the holy ghost is going to change your heart and your mind really soon. So you can either sign it now or you can wait a couple days until our prayers change you mind..." Her mom thought about it for a day and told her that she was probably going to sign it, that maybe it wasn´t such a bad thing after all. Itzel told us about all this on Sunday, and said she would try to have permision by tuesday, or at least before the weekend, so we can do the baptism then. I´ll let you know how it goes, but once again, just shows the power of fasting and prayer. I have experiences weekly that strengthen my testimony of prayer.

We found a 65 year old lady, contacted her in the street and came back to her house to visit her. She was kind of closed and hard of heart at first, I was kind of doubting a little bit that it would go anywhere, but after a while she opened up completely to us, just spilled everything, she has had a super hard life, health problems, and has to work alot to provide for her grand kids. We shared some scriptures about trials with her and taught her the Restoration. Then we asked for two glasses of water, Elder Carmona drank his and I left mine full. We asked her if she had had times in her life where she felt empty, like the glass of Elder Carmona. She told us yes, Then we read some scriptures about how baptism fills you up with joy, and showed her my glass that was full. She accepted baptism and said, well ya, I´ve never been baptized before. Then we had her say the closing prayer, the spirit was so strong, I started crying during the prayer, I havn´t done that during a lesson yet. She thanked Heavenly Father for sending us to her home to help her with her problems, and that we listened to everything and she feels like she has someone she can trust and who can help her. She told us after the prayer thank you for listening to everything, that she had never been so open with anyone like that. So we are pretty excited to continue teaching her.

I really feel like I´m starting to change alot. I feel like I´m really starting to love the people we are teaching and now that I can really communicate better with the members and the people, I feel like I can really express everything better and I´m just super super happy right now. I don´t know how to describe it, I just love my mission!!

I love you all soooooo much, good to hear that everything is going well!!

Can´t wait to talk to everyone on Mother´s day!! Love you all!!

Elder Eastmond Jr.