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Monday, January 28, 2013

Pictures: Jan 21 and 28, 2013

Boda (Wedding)

The time is just flying here!! We are teaching so many great people and the member and converts are really working hard to help us find more! This past monday, we got a call from a sister who had been helping us get a birth certificate for an investigator who has been waiting to get married with his girlfriend so they can get baptized. They have been waiting for like 4 months but their birth certificate finally got here so we had the amazing experience of helping them get married and baptized!! Their family is incredible! Their names are Elias (the dad) Benita (the mom) and their kids are Elias and Santa. Santa is 8 years old and got baptized like 3 months ago, she put the example for her family and was so excited that her dad and mom got married and baptized. The bishop helped us alot, he gave us all a ride to the little town where they got married and him and his wife were two of the witnesses for the wedding. I have gotten to know the family a little bit in the time that I have been here and I already just love them to death! (They have been going to church for like 3 months straight) Their little boy Elias is really cool, he is 5 and just the funniest kid youve ever met, so its fun to play with him and joke around with him when we go to visit them. I am excited to get to know them even better in these coming weeks.

We also have been teaching Bety`s daughter, Larisa (10 years old) these past couple of weeks and she was able to join the church too this week. Bety is the lady that we baptized last week and her family is changing alot with these decions to joing the church that they are all making. We are teaching Bety`s mom, she really likes to drink coffee but she is starting to drink less and so I think she will be able to joing the church this week as well. I cant even tell you guys how fun and neat it is to teach families because when one person sets the example, the others see the change and the hapiness that the person has and they start to want it too. The gospel is great, isnt it??

We saw more miracles sunday moring as we went to church. We were waiting for a good amount but we passed by for one and she came with us but when we got there none of our other investigators had shown up. So we called one who is named Abdiel (13 yrs old) who has a baptism date for this week and is really really cool, he is really smart and learns fast. I called him and he sounded like he had just gotten up and said that he wasnt going to make it but I told him that we were going to be waiting for him in the church. Then we called Jenifer, she is 15 years old and we found her along with her sister Diana, they are daughters of inactive members and we are hoping that the daugters can joing the church and the parents can start coming again. But she had gotten up late too and said that she had a ton of homework but I told her that if she came Heavenly Father would bless her a ton in school and that she would have time to do everything, so she said, "Alright, Ill get ready and ill be there in like 10 minutes". And then after she showed up Abdiel sent us a text and said that he was coming too, and showed up like 5 minutes later, it was great!!

We have so much work here right now and we are really being soooo blessed! The picture of my shirt is when I ripped it on a piece of barbed wire...should have torn my arm up really good but didnt pass through the sleeve of my garment :) And the other picutres are from the baptism and the wedding! Fun week!!

I love you all more than you can know and hope everything is going good!! Careful in all that crazy weather!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Otra semana tan buena!!

We are just loving life here in sunny Veracruz, haha! This week we received alot of help from Heavenly Father, he worked a couple of miracles after we had done all we could, and the week turned out great.

Maria de los Angeles and Bety got baptized this week. In the pictures, maria is the young lady (16 yrs) and Bety is the other lady (35) They both are just happy as can be to be members of the Church, especially because Satan was working incredibly hard this week to keep them from getting baptized but we they were triunfant in the end. We saw Maria on tuesday and was asking her how she was feeling about her baptism on saturday and everything and she told us that she wasnt going to be able to get baptized. We asked her why and she told us that she had been having some severe problems with her health and that she wasnt going to be able to. (im not going to go into any detail or anything, but they were some hard things she was going through) So we invited her to be interviewed so she could be ready for saturday if she was feeling better and if she could improve. We fasted and prayed and We did her interview the next day and then we went on thursday to ask her how she was doing and she said that she had been praying really hard and that she woke up in the morning and wasnt having the problem that she had been having...She said it was really weird that she was feeling so good. So we gave her a blessing and invited her to keep praying. We went back on Friday and she said that she felt great and that she wasnt having problems anymore. It was a miracle. We cant explain it but I know the Lord wanted her to get baptized. She got baptized on Saturday, shes the first in her family and shes going to put an example for everyone in her house. It was amazing, a miracle and I just love watching what the Lord can do in the lives of our investigators if they have faith and show their faith through their actions.

Bety had a baptism date for this saturday. But we got there on tuesday and she told us that she wasnt going to get baptized because she was scared of what her mom was going to say or how she was going to react. She lives with her mom and her two little girls (her 10 yr old daughter Larisa has a baptism date for this saturday and is really excited) but her mom is catholic. So we taught her about lehis dream and how sometimes other people wont agree with the gospel but we have to exercise our faith and follow the gospel. She still had a lot of doubts so we invited her to be interviewed on thursday to see if she was ready. We told her that if she was ready she should join the church because the Lord would bless her for her sacrifice. So on Thursday, Elder Wirthlin came and interviewed her and she was ready. But she still was really scared but Elder Wirthlin was really guided by the spirit and helped her have the faith and the confidence to make the decision. She got baptized on Saturday with Maria and her mom was completely fine with it when she told her that she wanted to get baptized. Her mom went to her baptism and went to church, and we are going to teach her this week! Bety was crying after her baptism and Im so happy for her because the gospel and the church are going to bless her familiy so much!

This week Elder Alonso from the 1st quorum of the 70 came to talk to us. all I can say is, WOW. He is sooooo powerful the spirit was absolutely incredible, I could hardly believe it. He talked alot about prayer and about teaching by the spirit. Before he came, I had written done a couple of questions that I was expecting him to answer and sure enough, he answered every single one of them, and really specifically too. Its amazing to be able to be taught by a servant of god so intune to the spirit. We are really excited to be able to apply everything that he taught us this week.

Im loving the mission so much. I have really loved getting to know everybody in the zone, we are going to start doing divisions this week with the district leaders because I know the area a little better, so we should have a fun week!! Dont get too sunburned this week in that toasty utah weather!! I love you all a ton!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond


Monday, January 14, 2013

Loving Life in Veracruz

¿Que dice familia?

So I am already loving life her in Veracruz!! Its soooo much fun being a zone leader and getting to know and work with all of the missionaries. I get along great with my companion, Elder Mata, and I have the biggest ward that I have had in my whole mission. We had 188 people in church this past sunday!! Im not used to that so it was quite a pleasant surprise. All of the members are so friendly and willing to work with us and help us, and our Mission Leader is incredible. He helps us a whole lot, its great.

The weather is really hot and muggy here, haha. Its gonna take me a little bit to get used to it after being in Cordoba for 5 months. And everyone said that its not even hot yet here, haha. Dad asked me how hot it is, and Im not sure but I would say that its in the 80s or low 90s...We sweat alot but I love it! So much better than the cold. The area is really big, and we have a little bit of everything. Some of the neighborhoods are really rich and there are some that make me feel like I´m in the Tuxtlas again with dirt roads and stuff. I really like the area and like I said earlier the ward is awesome.

As you can see from the pictures, we had two baptisms this week! It was so fun to get here and see that we have A TON of people who we are teaching right now, and they are all awesome.We baptized a mom and her daughter, named Aida and Airani. It was fun to get to know them this week and they both have changed a whole lot after being taught the gospel in their lives. Airani (the daughter) says she wants to go on a mission when she gets older, haha. The mom Aida is a great lady. She has a lot of faith and has a couple of friends in the ward so that will help her get used to the change and learn more about the church. Im excited to get to know them even better as we review all of the lesson and teach them more about the church and the gospel. The baptismal service was great, our ward mission leader organizes everything and the chapel is absolutely beautiful! I will take some pictures this week and send them to you guys.

This week we have 4 people with baptism dates, we are really just as excited as can be this week, haha. We are teaching a lady named Bety and her daughter Laurisa. They received answers to their prayers this week and told us that they know its true and want to join the church. We are excited to help them get ready this week. We are teaching another girl named Maria de los ángeles, she is 16 years old and came to the baptism service of Aida and her daughter and loved it, she said she almost cried. She has had to make a ton of changes in her life and is a little nervous to join the church but she made a lot of friends in church on sunday and we are going to help her feel comfortable with the decision this week. We are also teaching a little kid named Ricardo who is 10 years old, his whole family is member and he is going to decide this week if he wants to get baptized or not.

We had 6 people in church this week and we are going to keep looking for new people to teach this week! I have looooved getting to know all of the misionaries and helping them with their problems and challenges, its great!!

Love you guys, hope everthing is going well!

Elder Eastmond

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pictures Jan 7, 2013

Change to Veracruz

Hola familia!!

Well I have a lot to say so here we go!! Changes are here and.......I am going to Veracruz. (the city veracruz, haha) I´m going to a stake called Reforma. President called me on friday and told me that I would be going there as a Zone Leader...what??? haha I feel really nervous to be a zone leader but Im excited at the same time. I dont feel ready but I heard that the Lord always calls us to do things that we arent ready to do, haha. I already know my companion, he is Elder Mata. He was in my zone in the Tuxtlas and he is awesome, Im really excited to work with him. He is really friendly and likes to work hard, hes a good misionary. When everyone asks me who my companion is going to be and I tell them Elder Mata, they all go "oooooo hes really good" haha so im excited! Its going to be really hard to change and not be companions with Elder Serrano...Hes the best but I know that he and I learned what we needed to learn from eachother. In fact, he is going to be staying in Huilango, but he is going to train a new missionary!! that was the coolest thing in the whole world to here that he was going to be training. I cant tell you all how happy I felt when he gave me the news (I was doing divisions with the zone leaders when he called me) He only has 3 months on the mission and has learned soooo much so fast. I feel like I didnt even really do anything he just picked it all up.

We found a ton of new investigadors this week so the tank is pretty full and he will have lots of success with his greenie. We were going to baptize a sweet lady yesterday named Dulce, but we went to pass by to bring her to church and she wasnt there... then we called her like 10 times and she never answered...dont know what happened but I know that Elder Serrano will take care of everything in the area. But wow I feel so weird that I am going to be in Veracruz as a zone leader...I feel like every time I start to get confortable with a responsability, the Lord gives me more so I can keep growing. I am really excited to get to know all of the misionaries in the zone and put a good example from them, learn from them, and do all that I can to serve them and help them reach their potencial. When I was on splits with one of the zone leaders on friday he told me that as a zone leader the revelacion just starts to fall from the sky so you can help all of the missionaries so I am pretty excited to be able to be in tune with the spirit so close.

We went to say goodbye to my converts yesterday and was sad but they are happy and I am so greatful for the chance I had to be a tool in the Lord´s hands to help these amazing people join the church. I love the mission there isn´t another place in the world where you can feel the hapiness from teaching someone the gospel and watching them accept it. The pictures I sent in the first email are from the family group in yanga...we had a testimony meeting and it was incredible, the spirit was so strong. A couple of the members in the picture are memebers from Huilango, we always go to yanga with a few of them so they can help us with talks and the music and presiding the meeting. The pictures in this email are from a zone class we had, and the zone leaders had gotten us soccer jerseys with the names of the missionaries in the zone. We bought the jerseys for 100 pesos each, which is less than 10 dollars. Sweet huh?

To answer some questions from dad, this period of 12 weeks with Elder Serrano we always had 2 hours of study every morning. We do alot of practicing.
The sisters had their own ward that they were working in.
We havnt heard anything yet about new msionaries coming in, but Im sure that soon we will be getting alot more.

I love you guys, thank you for the emails and for the prayers!! hope everything is going well!!

Mucho Amor,

Elder Eastmond

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Video of Tyler breaking a pinata

Pictures Dec. 10, 17, 24 and 31, 20012

Raquel and her son George.

It has been snowing quite a bit here. As you can see the mountain in the backround, all of that snow that's sitting there on the peak. Its beginning to look a lot like christmas...

One of these shirts I've worn my whole mission and the other one I just barely opened. I hope you can see the difference in the picture, one looks really yellow and the other is still white, haha. 

 Here are some pictures of what we did today for our zone activity! We broke piñatas...

We watched a movie about Christ and ate "picaditas." 
It was a great day we had a ton of fun.

The young man in the middle is named Carlos. He just barely left on the mission to serve in Guatemala. His mom is the relief society president and he always helped us out with divisions or came with us to help teach. He will be a great missionary. 

We were walking around in central in the morning 
and found this gigantic Christmas tree.

Feliz año nuevo!

Hola familia! Feliz nuevo año!

It was so good to see you guys on christmas, even though you all made fun of my accent, hahaha! It was really cool to see John after so long, and I cant believe how much devin has grown! crazy!! I hope you all had a great christmas, but from what I could tell it looks like you had a good one!

This was such a great week!! Like i told you guys on scype, we are just finding a bunch of great people in our area who really want to learn and who keep all of their commitments. I told you guys about a lady named Evencia, who had come to church the week before, right? Well she is really really sweet, she ALWAYS reads and prays and had gotten an answer that the church was true really early in the conversion process. We had put a date with her for the 5th of January, but i woke up the other day and just had the thought in my head that we needed to change her date to this week. I was exercising and everything and couldnt get the thought out of my head so I told Elder Serrano if he was cool with changing the date and he said ya. So we thought about it and prayed about it and realized that she had almost all of the lessons, she had been to church and loved it, and she had a strong testimony of the church and the desire to get baptized, so we brought the president of the relief society to her house and invited her to be baptized on sunday after church and she accepted, she was excited, haha. So we did her interview the next day and told her we would pass by for her to go to church on sunday. When we passed by on sunday, nobody was in her house. We knocked for like 5 minutes and nothing...we started to worry a little but thought that maybe she went alone.

So we passed by for our other investigators and when we got to church she was outside waiting for us. We asked if she came alone and she said, "ya I had to go to central to visit somebody so I though I would just come by myself." She loved church, we talked about baptism in gospel principles class and she was making a ton of great comments and everything. She got baptized at 6:00 after we got back from yanga and It was a great baptism service. Elder Serrano said that the water was freezing but she came out crying and said that she didnt feel the cold. He testimony was incredible, she told everyone that she felt weighed down when she entered the font, but that she came up out of the water feeling so much lighter and that she could feel that she had washed all of her burdens and sins away. It was great, she will be in the church every single week. And because she got baptized, her family members who are all less active came to church today and to her baptism, and they told us that they are all going to be coming every week. Her mother in law, her niece, her sister, and her two grandkids should all be coming back to church! We are really excited!

We have changes in a week and I feel like Im going to be leaving. I love this area so much, we will see what happens... I do no that I will miss Elder Serrano sooooo much. He is so great and one of the best friends Ive ever had in my life. This week we have a married couple that we are teaching that is really special and should be able to get baptized, they have some doubts but the lord will help us so we can resolve everything!

It was sooooo good to see you all this christmas! I love you all so much and hope you have a happy new year!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond