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Monday, August 27, 2012

Pictures August 27, 2012

Once again we got no explanation with these pix.  But if those are Tyler's shoes, maybe we need to send him a little extra money this month... Although, they are in the middle of nowhere-- not sure where he would buy some new shoes.

Que tal familia??

Another week come and gone! This week was pretty normal. Nothing too exciting happened....ya right, haha. Yet another adventure filled week! We will start with church on sunday, as usual. First of all, Mom and Dad, to answer your question, my companion and I were both Branch Presidents, at the same time. But...not anymore! We finally have a new branch president!! Hermano Calixto. Hes the only person who could have been called to replace the old president, there aren´t even anyother posibilities, but even if we had more priesthood in the branch, he would still be called as president. He always comes with us to help us teach, is always super excited to help and serve other people, and has alot of faith in the Lord. He doesn´t know a whole lot right now but we are going to teach him how to do everything and he is going to be a great president. The only catch is that he can only come every other sunday, because he works as a policeman, and works 24 hours and then rests for 24 hours. (he is always a little bit tired with his schedule, it´s kinda tough, haha) But it´s better than the other President coming like one time every two months, haha. So we are really excited for the change and that we have someone to take a little bit of the load off of our backs, it will be good.

We visited Benito and he is just happy as can be. He doesn´t talk much or smile, but when we went to visit him, he had changed so much! He was talking more and louder, so we could actually hear him, and he was smiling alot too. He has read a ton from the Book of Mormon and has such a strong testimony that the church is true. I think my favorite part of the mission is going to visit our converts for the first time after they have been baptized, it´s so amazing to see the change that the Lord works in their lives. He went to church again and loved it, and is determined to come every week.

We have a baptism this saturday! We are going to baptize a guy named Selso (78 years old) He is soooo cool! He can´t read but he told us the other day that when the other churches come and talk to him he feels uninterested and doesn´t feel anything. But when we come he says he "fills up with joy and hapiness" and feels really peaceful and relaxed. We explained to him that it´s because we have the Holy Ghost with us, something that only exists in the true church. He is really excited to get baptized, in fact this past sunday when we baptized Benito, we showed Selso the baptismal font and he went to look at it but took a step too far and got his foot and his pants wet, haha. We were all laughing and we joked with his that he couldn´t get baptized yet because we still had to teach him more.

We have alot of great people that we are teaching right now, lots of people who are reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and have already received answers, we just have to help them come to church and follow the answers that they have received. The Lord has blessed us so much this change to be able to find the people who really want to know the truth.

To answer some of Dad´s questions, When we wash the clothes on p-day, we do it at our house. We have a washing machine that one of the Hermanas in the branch lets us borrow. She says she likes to wash by hand...haha. We come to a city named San Andreas to buy the food and email, because theres not a whole lot where we live. We email in a place called a Ciber, it has a bunch of computers and we pay when we´re done. We buy the food in a supermarket, a normal store kinda like Wal Mart.

This week I ate cow stomach. I asked the hermana to make it for us last week because I wanted to try it at least (How many times am I gonna have to chance to eat cow stomach in my life??) so she made it for us. It´s called Mondongo...I would compare it to rubber... :)

I love you all so much, I can´t believe Parker is driving and in High School and Devin is already a champ at the saxaphone! I miss you and am so grateful for your prayers for us!! Pray for Selso so he can get baptized this saturday!!! Love you tons!

Mucho Amor,

Elder Eastmond

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pictures August 20, 2012

Another crazy Sunday!

Hola Familia!

Another crazy week. We felt like we didn´t have the time to do half of the things that we wanted to do but we had a ton of great stuff happen here! The first thing is that we baptized Benito on sunday!! Wooooo!! The picture is great, for some reason, the Mexicans don´t like to smile in pictures and I thinks its really funny. In one of the pictures you will notice that President Treviño is with us... haha he came to our branch this sunday with his family and boy we had an adventure with that, let me tell ya...

So we found a ton of sweet people this week, and we had to pass by for a bunch of people to come to church (I will talk about all of them in a second). So the night before we talked to a couple of priests in the ward to see if they would do divisions with us so we could pass by for everyone and get to church on time... (haha) So in the morning we split up so I´m with a priest and Elder Escarcega is with another priest. Victor and I went to pass by for Benito, Yeraldín and Selso. So we got to Benito´s house at like ten in the morning. And he comes out and tells us to wait for him for just a second. So we waited....20 mintutes later he comes back out and was ready, haha. So I´m starting to panic a little bit, we were in the middle of nowhere, the other end of town basically, and I knew that we still had to pass by for 2 more people. And we couldnt exactly run like we basically always do because we had Benito with us. So we went and met Yeraldín (a 13 year old girl, whose parents are members), then later passed by for Selso (an older guy we found, like 80 years old) and we got to his house at like 10:30, the time sacrament meeting starts. He came out and shook our hands and then was like, "we´ll, have a good one!" and started to leave! I said "wait Selso, don´t you want to come to church with us?" (he has a baptism date for the first of September.) And he told me that he had to do a couple of things in the house. I told him that if he did them after church and came with us he would recieve a ton of blessings during the week. So he thought for a second, and then said "ok I´ll come, but I have to change first." So we waited like ten minutes and I called an hermana in the branch to see if Elder Escarcega had gotten to church yet. The hermana told me, no, he´s not here yet (this was at like 10:45) but President Treviño and his wife are here waiting..." Hermana Treviño had called me the night before and told me that they were most likely going to come to our church on sunday, but they weren´t sure. The first thing that popped into my head when I realized that President was there waiting and we were going to arrive 20 minutes late to sacrament meeting was, "hey at least I´ll get to see my family really really soon...hahaha". Selso finally came out. Then we had to wait for a taxi, and an empty one because we had lots of people. We waited like ten minutes more and finally headed for the chapel in Cerro. I´m not going to lie, I told the taxi driver that if he could drive a little fast, it would be great. :)

We finally got to the chapel and there was actually a ton of people there waiting for us. (We bless every week so they still hadn´t started) I finally stumble in and my companion is in the chapel with the "we´re dead" look on his face. (It´s a good thing that I had 3 investigaters with me, I can´t imagine showing up 20 minutes late with nothing to show for it, haha) So we finally started church and I can´t quite describe the look that was on President Treviños face when I finally showed up, but I´m sure he was thinking, "strike two" after the incident with the keys... All during sacrament meeting, Elder Escarcega was writing notes in his agenda that I could read, like "they´re going to kill us" or "we´re dead" haha. Turns out that he never said a word to us about it, he taught the class in sunday school, it was great, and his family was there for the baptism so it was really special. It was cool to have him there because we had a goal to to a bautismisión, where every companionship baptizes in the entire mission. So it was cool to baptize this day with president and his family there. We actually only missed the bautimisión by 4 companionships, and we have like 70 something in the mission, and they couldnt baptized because things happened that were out of their control. Our whole zone here in the Tuxlas baptized though, it was a special experience. Thank you for your prayers!!! They help us so much with everything! And I´m pleased to inform you all that no, President Treviño isn´t going to send us home early, hahahah.

The power of prayer and fasting continue to help us here, we prayed and fasted so hard that we would be able to baptized Benito this weekend and the Lord put everything in order. (You might ask why I baptized him after I baptized Rene too, but Elder Escarcega asked Benito who he wanted to baptize him and he said me, haha he wanted to be baptized by the white boy.) He doesn´t talk much, or smile, or talk very loud, but talking with him after the baptism we could tell he was just happy as could be :) He had to make a lot of changes in his life but he change so fast because he had so much faith that the Lord would help him.

The other picture is a Book of Mormon that an hermana in the branch bought because she doesn´t see very well, it´s the coolest thing I´ve every seen! Grandma, thank you for the peanut butter cookies, they are sooooo good! My companion likes them as well! Glad to here that John gave a great talk, what else is new?? haha without Notes and everything, congratulations John, thanks for being such a great big brother and example to me! And good luck with school and everything Parked and Devin, work hard and don´t ditch too often ;) I love you all soooo much, and I miss you a ton but I know I´m where I´m supposed to be and I´m absolutely loving every second of it!!!

Mucho amor, Elder Eastmond

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pictures August 13, 2012

Yum! Dinner!

Cedar City Winds

Hola mi querida familia!

This week was really good. I love my companion, we are working hard and having a ton of fun at the same time. This week I felt like I was in Cedar City again. A hurricane passed by Veracruz and on Wednesday and Thursday, the wind was blowing like crazy!! It was raining super hard too, and there were a bunch of trees that got blown over, and all the corn that everybody had planted was toast. All of it was knocked over and it reminded me of what happened in the garden in Cedar City every year, until we finally stopped planting stuff, haha.

We visited Rene a couple of times this week, He has changed so much!! He was happy as could be when we saw him for the first time since he had been baptized. We asked him how we felt and he was like "marvelous. I feel Marvelous." haha it was awesome. There isn´t a better feeling in the world than seeing someone so happy and so full of joy because they decided to get baptized. This sunday he came to church and looked like a new man. He brought a white shirt and had actually combed his hair and everything, I couldn´t help but smile. We were super blessed to be able to find him. Thank you so much for your prayers that helped us to be able to baptize him.

So even though we have been running around in a ton of mud this week, we found a bunch of new people who are really good. We have lots of great people that we are teaching, the key is going to be getting them all to church this sunday. We had one person in church this week, Benito didn´t come for some reason. When we went on saturday he was asking us about his baptism, like if we were going to put him in the water face first or back first, haha and he told us that he would be at his house when we passed by in the morning. We sent some members to go get him because we had to pass by for some other people, but the members showed up to church without him and said that he had left. Kinda frustrated with that because he wants to be baptized and wanted to come to church. Don´t know what happened but we are going to check with him today and find out what we can do to help him. We are going to do everything we can to baptize him after church this sunday, Parker, send us some prayers that we can baptize "a man" again and I know he will be able to get baptized, haha. That was cool to hear that experience that parker had, thank you guys so much for your prayers, they help us so much.

We did divisions with the Zone leaders on Wednesday, Elder Fullmer (from alaska) came to my area to work with me. It was really really weird because we were speaking English. My English is getting pretty bad, haha. I´m sure my emails are pretty entertaining to read. I don´t notice a change but I´m sure you guys do.

This sunday I talked about miracles in church. The Jehovas Witness church doesn´t believe that God does miracles anymore, I learned that this week. How sad is that?? We see so many miracles every week in the mission. I think the biggest miracle I have seen is the change in my own life. I completed 8 months on the mission and looking back on where I was before I came on the mission helps me understand one of the reasons why Heavenly Fathers sends young men on missions. We have to grow up alot, haha. I am greatful for all the experciences that I am having here that help me draw closer to the Lord, and help make me a better person. I have come to realized just how perfect God´s plan for us is, how perfect his Church is. Lots of people here are always trying to attack the church but they can´t because it´s the Church of Jesus Christ, and it´s perfect! I love telling people as I point to my nametag, I´m from the Church of Jesus Christ. It has his name because it´s his church. :)

Well I think that´s about it.... these pictures are from a place called Salto. And it´s in our area. We went with the district today and it was way cool. The other picture is a slug. I put salt on it later and it shrunk up into a little glob. We also saw the sweetest cat fight you´ve every seen in your life. Don´t worry, I took a video of it and I will show you all when I get home! Pray Benito that he can overcome everthing and get baptized on sunday!! Thank you for everything, I love you all and miss you tons!!

Mucho Amor,

Elder Eastmond

Monday, August 6, 2012

Branch Presidents

Hola que tal familia!

We had another crazy week, just like always! I laughed when I read that the air conditioning broke and it was like 95 degrees in the boys room, not that i want you all to be miserable, only that its funny because thats how it is every day here, haha. Like mom said how she was spraying herself with the spray bottle, every night before I go to bed I splash cold water on my face and just leave it there because its so hot.

We had lots of stuff happen to us this week, but the best of all... We baptized!!! We baptized Rene on saturday and confirmed him on sunday, it was great! his testimony after the baptism was incredible. he is so humble and talked about how none of the other churches would ever visit him but how he always wanted to change and do the things that god wanted him to do, and thats what he did by being baptized. Aw its such a great feeling being able to help someone make that covenant with God, there is no feeling like it. But... Satan did not want the bapitsm to happen. Just about every thing that could have went wrong, went wrong, haha.

All of this happened on Saturday: We were teaching a lesson in the morning, and when we left the lesson President Treviño called us. Every misionary knows that when president calls, its something really important, because he doesn{t call the missionaries directly very often. So I answered and he said hey, where are you Elders at, we are here in your area to check your house and to do interviews with you guys. So they came to where we were at and took us to the house. His wife was with him, and we were kinda nervouse bacuase we had the busiest week ever and hadnt cleaned the kitchen or the bathroom that well. Hermana Treviño is known to come and do surprise visit to check the houses of the missionaries and make sure that they are clean, and we were definietly going to fail this exam... She asked us, you have the keys to your house, and said yes and we prepared ourselves to be chewed out a little bit, haha. But we got to the house and I didnt have the keys.... I checked my pocket, my bag, and the keys weren{t there. My companion was saying, ya quit joking around and take out the keys, because every night i always joke around that we will have to sleep outside because I lost the keys or something. But this time I really didn{t have them... we are pretty sure that they fell while we were in a taxi. Close to 8 months on the mission, I had never lost the keys before,
and the one day that president and his wife come to do a surprise visit I lose the keys... of course. So we had to drive all the way to Cerro de las Iguanas to do the interview in the chapel.
After that, we had to eat so we went back to Comoapan, and had to talk to the owner of our house to borrow his keys. Then we went back to cerro to fill up the font for the baptism, we were filling it up and everything, there was no problems, and it was about halfway full when it stopped filling up...naturally right? So I climbed up into the attic to check the water tanks...empty. We should have filled up the tanks the day before, there is a pump that pumps water from the ground  up to the tanks so that there is water in the church, but that never crossed our minds the day before. We had like 30 minutes before the baptism and we still had to return to comoapan to bring Rene to his baptism. after messing with the pump a little and trying to get more water, it was going to take too long so we had to leave and go get Rene, then go back to cerro for the baptism. I remembered that one Elder had told me that he didn{t have enough water to baptize one time so they had their investigator sit down in the water so he could go all the way under. We tried it and it worked, haha. I told Rene to sit in the water and i kneeled next to him to do the ordinance. It worked just fine, we had just enough water to do it!

So all that was an adventure, but we are also now Presidents of the Branch. The other president never comes because of work and everything so they released him. They have another brother in mind to be president but until they call him President Treviño gave us permission to extend callings and stuff like that. Haha never thought i would be a branch president before I turrned 20.

More things about my companion, he is from Mexico city, is 22 years old, he has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. All of his family are members, his extened family no but his mom, dad, brothers and sisters are members. The ward loves him and he is a hard workerr. We get along really well and we are going to do some good things here. His testimony is amazing. he knows without a doubt that the church is true and is willing to do whatever it takes to share that with everyone. Right now he is sick and we are going to the doctor to find out what he has. always an adventure here in mexico!

thank you so much for your prayers and letters and emails! I love you all so much!!

Elder Eastmond

Pictures August 6, 2012