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Monday, November 26, 2012

Pictures Nov 26, 2012

Mawwaige! That bwessed awwangement!

Que dice familia??

I´m gonna try to fit everything in the letter, but I dont know that ill be able to! We had the craziest week in all of my mission...I think it even beats some of the crazy weeks I had in the Tuxtlas. So here we go....

So on Tuesday, we went to visit a less active member. Shes really cool and loves the church but she works alot and so she can only go every once in a while. We went to her house but her daughter in law came out and told us that she wasnt home. Her name is Gloria. So I asked her if she had every talked with missionaries before and she told us that she had, and then came right out and said "in fact, the only thing that keeps me from getting baptized is that i´m not married with my husband." So we asked her if we could come in and share her a message. Turns out that her husband got baptized forever ago and they got together with plans to get married, but he was always so busy with his job that they never had time to get married. (soooo many people here in Mexico just "get together", its really sad) And she said that some of the previous misionaries had tried to get them married, they had put a date and everything but the day before the wedding her husband had to go out of town for months. I asked her if her husband was in town right now and she told me that he would be in town until saturday. So we explained to her that there is a place in Orizaba where you can set a date to get married and have the wedding the next day. So we invited her to talk to her husband and decide if they wanted to get married on friday, in 3 days, haha. We took down all of her information to get birth certificates and she called us in the morning and told us that they wanted to get married, haha. We could not believe it. So we cancelled like all of our plans on wednesday, went to Orizaba, and got their birth certificates and set up appointments and everything for the wedding. It was the craziest day, because I obviously have no experience with marriage and weddings and what not cuz I havent married anyone on my mission. But the zone leaders helped us out the whole day, we were running around like crazies trying to get everything set up for friday, but we set up the date and everything and they ended up getting married on Friday at 5:00!!! It was so sweet!!!!!! She said that she has wanted to get married and baptized for like 9 years but they just hadn´t been able to, but now she can and we invited her to be baptized this weekend, she has a testimony and everything and has been to church a bunch, but for not being married she could never join the church. We are soooo excited and are so blessed to be able to find Gloria and be able to help her join the church and get married.

We also got to baptized George on sunday, after stake conference!! His baptism was amazing! There was a ton of people there because we had 4 wards there and each ward had a baptism, so it was really special. His mom and his sister (Itzel) came, and so we are hoping that they could feel the spirit and will have more of a desire to follow the example of George. He was so happy afterwards, he came up to us and gave us a big hug, it was great. I have learned alot from teaching George, like I said he reminds me alot of John, he ALWAYS read the chapters in the book of Mormon that we left him, his prayers are always different, he never repeats anything and gives thanks for everything, and he has alot of faith. Im so happy that my Heavenly Father let us find and teach George. :)

Elder Serrano got sick the morning of the baptism, he had a fever and said that his whole body hurt, so sunday after the baptism we had to go the doctor and we waited for like a good two hours, all the chairs were taken so I took a picture of him sitting on the floor exausted, haha. He has some medicine and says that he feels completely better today.

We found 3 more awesome people this week. One of them lives in Yanga, he was a reference from an Hermana. When we taught him about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon he told us he felt surprised, like it was all too good to be true. We left him the chapter when Jesus comes to the Americas and he was almost giddy to read it, he couldnt believe that Christ had come to this continent. We always found a guy named Jorge who lives with his mom. He has a bunch of tatoos and stuff and has made alot of mistakes in his life but trust me when i tell you that he wants to repent from everything. When we taught him about baptism he said that he wanted to get baptized, and we hadn´t even invited him yet, haha. We taught him and his mom together and she wants to follow too, we left them a Book of Mormon and he said that he was going to read way more than the chapter we left him. Also, we hadn´t been able to contact Blanca Esther all week long, everytime we called her it sent us to voice mail. We couldnt figure out what was going on so we prayed that we could contact her soon and she came to the church after stake conference, (she thought it was at the normal time) and said that she had lost her phone and got a new one. So we are going to be teaching her again this week.

We also did an acitivity with the youth in the ward. We split everybody up in companisionships and we all went to knock doors for an hour, and the youth just set up appointments and stuff and said a prayer in the houses that let them in. We received over 20 references :) It was awesome to see all of the youth so excited about the missionary work.

It has been the most incredible week!! We were soooooo blessed and we are so excited to continue teaching all of the new people we found!! Thank you for your prayers and support!! I love you all so much!!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pictures Nov 19, 2012

Yes, he ate this-- But he won't eat my Hawaiin Haystacks... Hmmmmmm 
Maybe if I substitute worms for the Chinese noodles... Bon apetit!

George, Esther and Elder Serrano

Hola Familia!!

We had a great week, and we are even more excited for this upcoming weekend! We have been teaching George and he came to church with us this sunday, and everything is all set for his baptism this sunday. (Its stake conference so we are going to do his baptism after conference) This week we watched the restoration video with him and he had the whole thing memorized by the time we walked out of the door, haha. Just like John! We also had more lessons with a member present this week than Ive had in all of my mission, close to every lesson we taught we had a member and we hope to continue with that, the members have helped us a ton this week. We also found a neat girl named Blanca Esther, who moved here in our area. She had gone to church 5 times and had listened to the Elders for a couple of months. She said that she loves the church and she has always wanted to get baptized but her mom never let her. But she just turned 18 so she can decide what she wants to do and she told us that she wants to be baptized, so we put a date with her for this sunday also, along with George. She is really neat and has read alot from the Book of Mormon, so we are really excited to teach her and get her ready for her baptism this week.

It has been a little colder here lately, especially in the mornings, but other than that I have even noticed anything that would suggest Christmas is around the corner. But we are all excited because we will all be going to the temple right before Christmas!! And I will get to talk to everyone! Im really excited. Thank you all for the packages, I will wait until Christmas to open them if they get here before hand! :)

So to answer some questions that dad had, Elder Serrano is 18 years old and lives in the Capital of Honduras. He has been a member all of his life, and everyone in his family is a member except for his dad. His dad wasnt ever interested in the church and was murdered about 4 years ago. Elder Serrano is really strong and has a strong testimony of the plan of salvacion, he knows that he will see his dad again and it drives him to work really hard and love other people. He has a twin brother who is serving a mision in Puebla. And he has two older sisters, both married. He loves to sing, dance, play sports, and goof off. He spends about 95 percent of his time laughing... not joking, haha. Its great, we get along really good and he is learning soooooo fast. He also looooves english and so he is working really hard to try and learn it, hes always asking me how to translate stuff into english, haha.

As far as Yanga goes, dad, we also go to Yanga on Tuesdays and thursdays after lunch. Its kinda hard to work there, the people have really really weird ideas, dont know why, but thats how it is. So we always do visits with some members, because we have to knock about 20 doors before they will let us into one house. We havent had much success getting past the 2nd lesson there, but we know that eventually we will be able to find someone who is looking for the gospel. On sundays, we go to the ward in Huilango at 10, and then at 2 we always go to Yanga for the Family group, they have church for only 2 hours on sunday.

Today some members took us to this sweet place in the mountains. There is a trail that passes through a bunch of tunnels and then a huge bridge that has train tracks, and then we passed by a river and a waterfall, i dunno, a bunch of cool stuff like that. So these pictures are from that adventure. And believe it or not, the Yankee house was there hidden in the Jungle, and I had to take a picture, haha. Mom, you sound super busy with all of the relief society stuff... thank you for being such an amazing example to me of serving others. I know there are so many people in the ward who love you and are so grateful for all you do! Parker, I cannot believe you are going to be driving soon!! Thats crazy. When I get back you will have to teach me how to drive again, because I forget how :) This week you should all send me some pictures of you guys because I havent seen you all since Mothers day!!

The time is going by soooooo fast!! We are really excited for this week and we are working hard and happy! The more time Im out here, the more I realize just how true this church is. I love being a missionary, its the hardest thing Ive ever done in my life but the best at the same time. My relationship with my father in Heaven is improving every single day, and I am ever grateful for the atonement in my life!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Monday, November 12, 2012

"He loves to sing Himns"

Hola Familia!

We had a pretty good week, we found a really sweet family that we are super excited to teach. Its a mom and dad and they have two girls. One of their daughters is 15 and the other is 7. We havent found the dad at home yet because he has been working but we are hoping to meet him soon. (They didnt come to church but we are going to have a family home evening with them and a family in the ward and talk about the atonement and the sacrament and stuff) The family was a reference from some recent converts, and it was kinda funny how we got the reference. We were teaching a lesson to the family who joined the church a couple of months ago, after the lesson they wanted to know my first name. So I wasnt gonna give it to them but I told them that if they gave us 4 references I would give it to them. They whipped out a piece of paper and had the names written down within 3 minutes. Do you know how long we`ve been trying to get a reference from this family?? And all it took was my first name, haha it was funny. One of the references was the aunt of the mom of this family, so we visited her and she and her daughters are really nice and want to learn more.

Mom, Im gonna answer the questions you sent me:

Who and what was your favorite thing you taught this past week?

We had an activity this week that we did in the ward where we did "The iron rod" and we made a tree and had a rope that was the rod and blindfolded our investigators. We had 4 investigators come and they loved it. We taught about the book of mormon and what everything means, it turned out really great! I have pictures but we are in a not so great computer lab and it wont accept my card so I will send pictures next week!

Did you and your companion having any funny moments?

Something funny that happened was that we had been planning the activity for the "Iron rod" and when we finished planning it, we talked about EVERYTHING that could go wrong. We found a couple loopholes and then fixed them so that everything was perfect, and we decided that nothing could possible go wrong. When we showed up on saturday, there was a big truck in the parking lot where we were going to do the activity, and they were unpacking new chairs for the church. OF COURSE, how did we not see that one coming...that ones a classic, a big truck with chairs shows up when you want to start the activity. Haha it was funny and we helped them unpack the chairs and started an hour late :)

Who is the most interesting person you taught this week?

We were in Yanga, the little town were we have the family group, and we were looking for a contact. We knocked the door and the neighbor came out and told us that the person wasnt home. So we presented ourselves to the neighbor and told him that we wanted to share him the same message. We taught him outside and when we taught him about Joseph Smith he got kinda rebelious and just couldn´t believe it. we invited him to pray but he told us that if Joseph Smith was standing right there in front of him he would believe it. I asked him if he could see Jesus Christ and he said "of course not!" And then I asked him why in the world would he believe in a man that he had never seen. He answered and told me that he knew Jesus existed because of his faith....We explained it was the same with Joseph Smith but he wastnt buying it, haha. So we invited him to read and pray and I invited him to say the closing prayer. He accepted but invited us into his house to do the prayer and we had to pass through this dark alley way. My companion whispered to me "were going to die" because Im teaching him english , haha. We sat down and the man said about a ten minute prayer, it was pretty intense. He was kinda shouting with all the energy he had and at the end it look like he had even broken a sweat. We thanked him for the prayer and left almos running, haha. :)

Who is the most enjoyable person you taught this week?

We found this week a kid named George who is 9 years old and guess what?? He has aspergers!!! He`s so cool! And he reminds me of John so much because he likes to quote movies and he memorizes EVERYTHING that we teach him. He was quoting toy story the other day but it was funny because it was all in spanish, haha. He is actually the little brother of Itzel, who was going to get baptized a couple weeks ago but at the last minute didnt want to. We asked permission from his mom to teach him and baptize him if he wanted to do it, and she said if he wants to thats fine. We invited him to get baptized and he said yes, and he came to church with his Grandmother on sunday. His grandma is inactive but we have taught her a couple of times and we just asked her for her support and she brought George to church on sunday and really enjoyed herself. So we are gonna kill two birds with one stone, we are going to help george get baptized, reactivate his grandma, aaaand we are hoping that Itzel will have more of a desire to follow if she sees her little brothers example. George was singing at the top of his lungs in church, and even has a part in the primary program, haha I have looooved teaching him cuz he reminds me so much of John. He has lots of faith in Jesus Christ, hes super smart, and he loves to sing himns. It is really special to be able to teach him :)

Well, that was our week! Elder Serrano and I are getting to be better and better friends everyday. We are having a lot of dificulties with the work right now but were grateful for the advice, prayers, and support of you all! Elder Serrano is learning so fast its scary!! I love you all tons and hope you have a great week!!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pictures Oct 15 and Nov 5

How to eat fried worms

Hola que dice familia!!

We had a better week this week. We have continued growing closer as companions through some of the hardships that we have had and I am really grateful for this chance I have to train. Its hard sometimes because if I dont know how to do something I cant just look at my companion and wait for him to solve it, but It makes me learn that much quicker. I feel like Im learning just as much as he is in this whole training process.

Well I will start off with what we ate this week. We ate in the house of one of our investigators on friday (Maria de los angeles). She gave us some meat and beans and little bits of green something and rice wrapped in tinfoil. We were eating it and my companion asked what the little green pieces were... she told us it was "nopal" which translates to "cactus" in english. :) Haha I thought it was some sort of bean or something but no it was cactus. But it tasted delicious, we ate a ton, haha. (Dont worry, she took off the spines) After we ate that she showed us some worms that she had in a jar. (See the picture of the red worm in my hand) and told us that they were super good if you cook them in a frying pan and put salt on them. We were like, "really, you can eat that? and it wont kill us?" she just laughed and then I told her I wanted to try it, (Im going crazy I know) so she fried up two worms and we salted them and ate them... It actually tasted really good. It was crunchy and just tasted like some type of meat or something. Then she told us that you could eat them raw...I wasnt going to eat it but my companion decided to try it and then i had too. I´ll just say that it tasted better cooked... But I´m not dead or sick or anything so dont worry. :) I took a video and I will show you all when I get home.

We were going to baptize Josué this sunday, (hes the son of Maria de los angeles) but they went out of town, and so we are hoping to be able to baptize them both this sunday. We are excited because Maria and her boyfriend are willing to get married, we might have some complications with some of the papers but we are hoping that everything goes smoothly. Maria and he kids and soooo great. She has two little girls that are just adorable and she has come to church two time and has loved it. She even put her name down twice on the list of food that the hermanas pass around for the month. We will be praying and fasting so everything turns out good with her boyfriend.

We had a meeting with the zone leaders yesterday and it went really well. We talked about what we can improve as a zone and came up with some good ideas to work with the members and be better missionaries. President also showed up on a surprise visit for district class this tuesday and taught us some good stuff. It was really neat because It was president and like 4 companionships, so we got to do practices with president and he taught us a bunch of great stuff.

It has been a little colder here lately, it hasnt rained as much but everyone is walking around in coats, but its like 60 degrees and perfect, its funny. They had dia de los muertos here instead of halloween. They dont make such a big deal out of going around and asking for candy like we do, kinda boring, haha.

The pictures are of the worm I ate and today we went to a sweet bridge with the district and with some members.

Well, I appreciate so much your emails and prayers, my time is up but I love you all soooooo much and hope that you all have a great week!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Pictures: Oct 22 and 29

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Hola familia!

We had a tough week. We are getting along great and Elder Serrano is learning really quickly, but it´s been tough here. We are working with only references now, so if we dont get them, there is nobody to teach. We got alot this week but nobody really wanted to listen, only half of the references accepted another appointment. Its hard because I feel like alot more depends on the members and their efforts to help us, we have to put our faith in them and do everything we can to help them see the importance of all this and the joy that they will receive by sharing the gospel with their friends and family.

Isai has had a lot of doubts and I feel like we cant help him. It hurts but I don´t know what more we can do to help him progress. The other day he had some scripture from the bible that says "Jesus is a high priest forever" and he says that it means that he can´t transfer his power to a prophet in these days because he would lose his power and wouldnt be a high priest anymore. We tried to explain to him everything and try to tell him that the scripture doesnt mean that but he wouldnt listen. We explained to him that if he is looking to match everything up perfectly from the bible and the book of mormon, he is never going to find what hes looking for. We told him to make the decision with his faith but he says that he has to have backround info before he can have faith. Hes too focused in little things that he finds in the bible that he wont listen to the spirit or to his heart.

We have also been teaching a sweet lady named Guiermina who wants to get baptized and is really excited. She was going to come to church yesterday and we were waiting for her to bring her but last minute her niece came up to us and gave us a note that said she was going out of town and wouldnt be able to go. Something always happens, every single sunday morning, haha. We never know what but there is always an excuse not to come to church.

We are teaching a neat family right now. The mom is named Maria de los Angeles and she has two little girls and a boy named Josuè. She isnt married with her husband but wants to get baptized on the tenth, so we are going to try to help them get married. She came to church this week (two weeks in a row, woooo!!!) and really likes how the church teaches her kids good things. We are planning on having some family home evenings with the members to help them get ready for everything. The trick is going to be talking with her husband because he is always working.

We had a leadership meeting in Veracruz this week, it was great. They talked to all the district and zone leaders to help us improve and be better leaders. They talked about district classes (what we can do to make them better) This week I have a fun activity planned that should make the class pretty fun. We also talked about putting a good example for the other missionaries in the district. That is hard to do in our district because the Hermanas are incredible, haha. We learn alot more from them than they from us I think.

I´ve been struggling a little bit lately, I havent felt like I know how to train and be a district leader and baptize all at the same time but I have faith that the Lord wants me to learn something and improve as a missionary. I feel like Im in some of the hardest/most stressful times in my mission right now, there is alot of pressure on our zone and the district and more now that I am training but Im hoping that Ï will be able to figure it all out soon. Pray for us that we can juggle everything thing and work hard but at the same time enjoy what we are doing. We know that if we keep searching and looking we will find the people that god wants us to find. I love you all tons and thank you for your prayers and emails!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond