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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pre mission pix for Zone Conference slide show

So, they are having zone conferences next month and it will be the last one that Tyler and his 'generation' will attend. They are going to make a video of the old missionaries who are going home soon and Tyler needed to put in some before (mission) and after pictures. So, I decided to include the ones I sent to him in the blog. Enjoy!! There are some real doozies here.

Pictures: Sept 28, 2013


Que hubo fam!!

We had a fantastic week!! First off, I want to thank you all for the notes and candy that you sent in my package, everything got here safe and sound! Thank you all so much. The comics were a nice touch, everyone here in the offices loved them all, haha. 

We got to meet the whole ward on sunday and we are just loving the members here. They are all so willing to help us out and they have been a huge support to help us feel comfortable and to give us lots of stuff to do and lots of people to visit. Last week we found a family of 5 and they all came to church with us on sunday!! They are super cool and two of them have to go out of town this weekend but the other three told us that they are going to church again tomorrow. They all felt really welcome in church and we are really hoping they will continue to keep their commitments so that they can join the church in a couple of weeks. We are also teaching a lady right now named...well...Lady! haha spelt Leidi. But she is part of a family where everyone are members and we are working on getting her married right now with her boyfriend. We are just missing a couple of papers that they are getting filled out right now and the wedding should be ready for next friday

We were getting lost alot the first couple of days but now we know the area better so we are getting our way around easier. A couple of days ago an hermana named Lolita came along with us for an hour and showed us where all the members, inactive members, and old investigators in her neighborhood live so that helped us out a ton. On tuesday we have another appointment with Lolita´s husband, he´s going to do a couple visits with us so we´re just as excited as can be! 

We were also able to have a baptismal service for a young man named Roman. (see the pictures below) He was an investigador that the other elders were teaching and he is awesome. I don´t know if I have ever seen someone so ready to be baptized. He is living with his aunt and uncle right now (they are members) because he is studying, so they have really helped him out in this process. The baptismal service was interesting because we ran out of water in the chapel in our area, so we called the elders in a ward thats pretty close to ours and asked them if they could start filling up the font in their chapel. Roman´s uncle baptized him and it was funny because as you can all see in the picture, Roman is HUGE! So his uncle was really scared that he wouldn´t be able to do it, so we had Roman sit down in the font and his uncle kneeled down, and to baptized him Roman basically just had to lay down. It worked out perfect and Roman said a beautiful prayer to end the baptismal service. 

Also, President Treviño had a meeting with an area 70 last week, Elder Valenzuela, and we found out that it´s not allowed to have 4 asistants in a mission :( We had no idea but that´s the rule. So we had to take out the traveling asistants. Elder Lopez and Elder Bahr went as zone leaders and we ended up spliting the biggest zone in the mission, "Los Tuxtlas." you guys will have to comment that to Pete and his wife! We now have "los tuxtlas norte", and "los tuxtlas sur" so we are really excited about that and it will be alot easier for the zone leaders to handle everything down there. 

We also had a leadership training meeting yesterday from 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon, it turned out pretty good. Its always such a blessing to be able to participate in the conferences. The mission has been struggling a little to baptize right now because of the change of rules where investigators have to go 5 times to church. Its an adjustment and the key is just always finding new people to teach. But we are all liking the change, its for the better and we have implemented alot of new tecniques and ideas to help us have more success as a mission. Your prayers for the mission will be greatly appreciated. Dad asked about our new area, its about the same distance from the offices as our last area, the house that we have is really nice and like I already said we love the members!! The area is probably one of the smallest that I´ve had, its still good sized but I have always had really huge areas so its kind of a nice change. As for the hurricane that hit, we just got a lot of rain and wind but just at night... it really hasnt affected us that much. 

Well I love you all so much, thanks for all of the emails! Good to hear that everyone is doing good. Thanks for the "before" pictures mom, i showed everyone in the offices the ones in Disney land and they were all freaking out, haha. 

Mucho amor

Elder Eastmond

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pix Sept 21, 2013

Bite! Bite! Bite!

Hola familia!

Well, we are exausted! This week was by far the craziest week of the mission. We got 19 new missionaries on monday and it has been a madhouse here in the offices. We went for the Mexican elders in the afternoon on monday, and the americans got here at like 11:30 at night, so we finally got to bed at like 1:30 after getting back and getting them all fed and everything. Then on tuesday we did all of the training meetings with them and organized some divisions with the zone and district leaders to take them to work for the day (president couldn´t be here on tuesday so instead of presenting the new missionaris with their trainers that day we did it on wednesday) Wedness the 19 trainers came to the chapel in front of the offices and we introduced them to their companions, had some more meetings, ate lunch, and sent them off to their areas. Then on thursday morning we sent 3 missionaries off to their houses, they finished their missions and two of them were Elder Herron and Elder Mata, two of my old companions so it was sad to send them home but they had amazing missions and I was greatful for the chance to have learned so much from them. 

The craziest thing that happened this week is that President changed us to a new area! Elder Egbert and I are still together but we left the Laguna and we are now in an area called Nuevas Esperanzas. They dont move the area of the asistants very often but every once in awhile it happens after they have been in the area for a long time. So we got to the area in "white wash" which means they took both of the missionaries who were there out of the area and we just got there without knowing the streets or the members, haha. I have actually always wanted to arrive in a white wash because you get there without hearing any pre-judgements about the members, the area, the investigators, and you can just get right into it. The members that we have met so far are really really friendly and we really like the area. We actually have a baptismal service this sunday because the elders here before us were working really good in the area and they had a lot of good people they were teaching. So ya we have gotten lost a lot but its been an adventure, haha. We also found a family of 5 our first day that looks absolutely golden! We are going to teach them for the second time today so we hope that all goes well!

I had a fun day on my birthday, in the offices we always buy cake when someone has a birthday but all the Elders here bought a cheescake! Yum! It was really funny though because as you can see from the picture, I took a bite out of the cake with not only my mouth but with my eyes and my nose too! Here in mexico they have a tradicion that before cutting the cake, everyone starts chanting "mor-di-das!! mor-di-das!! (its like, bite! bite! bite!!) the person whose birthday it is has to try and take a bit out of the cake with out someone smashing their head into it. One look at the picture and you will all realize that I failed...haha its a fun tradition, and you can all bet that I will play every time someone in the family has a birthday. :) I was blowing my nose afterwards and chocolate was still coming out for like 5 stuff. 

Thanks for all the emails!! I love you guys so much and I feel so blessed to have the greatest family in the whole world! I´m so happy to be a missionary, I feel like my eyes have been opened alot in these two years and I understand at least a little more the plan of salvacion and the atonement of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to just have all the knowledge and doctrine that we need to be saved layed out on the table in front of us so we know exactly what we need to do to return and live with Heavenly Father. I love this gospel and I love the joy I feel sharing it with other people! Love you guys and have a great week!! thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Mucho amor,

Elder Eastmond

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pictures Sept. 14, 2013

Dia de Independencia y cambios (Independence Day and changes)

hola familia!

Feliz día de independencia mañana! Haha the 15 of September is like the 4th of July for everybody here in Mexico. We bought some doughnuts with mexican style frosting to celebrate. Elder Tirado, the materials secretary, also has his birthday today so we bought a cake, put some balloons up, and later played a couple rounds of "spoons," haha it was really fun. 

It has been raining really hard this whole week. Alot of the houses and churches have been flooding but fortunately it has rained alot early in the morning and at night so we really haven´t gotten too wet. The only day that we got really soaked was on sunday, we started to pass by for investigators and as soon as it was 9:00 it started pouring cats and dogs, so Elder Mata and I had already passed by for a couple people who weren´t home and got caught out in the rain pretty far from the church. By the time we got there we were 100% soaked and then they had the air condicioner on the whole time in church so we got pretty cold. Quite the adventure. I was surprised to hear that its raining really hard in Utah too! Hardly ever rains that hard over there...Thats neat that we beat Texas so bad, I hope even more that we can destroy the Utes next week!! 

We have had a hard time in our area lately. We are getting lots of references from the members right now but the people who we visit don´t want anything, or we teach them one time and they seem really good, and then we can never find them again so we cant teach them or follow up on everything. It has been like that basically all last change but we are keeping our heads up and we just keep trying to work harder and harder every week. Elder Egberts a really good companion and we get along so good that we arent getting down or anything but it has been kinda frustrating. But I feel like soon we will find a bunch of people who have been being prepared in these last couple of weeks. It makes me really sad when the people that we teach make the decision to stay with all of their old beliefs and deny the oportunity to understand God´s plan for them, but at the same time it makes me grateful for the gospel in my own life and that I know where I´m going and what I´m doing here on the earth. The other day we got a reference and went to contact him. He let us in and we just starting talking to him to get to know him a little and see what his needs were. I felt soooo sad after getting to know him. We talked a little bit about repentance, and we asked him why it would be necesary for him to repent from the bad things that he has done. He responded that he didn´t see the importance so I asked him if he had ever felt guilty or sad after doing something bad. He sat there thinking for a little bit and said "no, i just feel normal when I do bad stuff..." So we talked a little more but he just didn´t want to understand the need to progress and improve in his life. He had no goals or plans in his life and when we tried to help him understand his purpose here and what he could acheive if he gave a little more he just put a bunch of excuses and at the end we couldn´t even get him to pray because he said that he doesn´t like to pray and that Heavenly Father knew what he was grateful for and what he needed. Auugghh it was really frustrating, haha. We wanted to help him so bad but he just wanted to keep living like he had always lived. I´m so grateful for the holy ghost in our lives that helps us feel sad when we do something wrong so that we can recognize it and fix it to always keep improving. 

We had a "noche mexicana" last night in the ward. There were a good amount of investigators there that we contacted so hopefully we can help them come to church tommorrow and start learning about the gospel. It was a fun activity, we did like an open house type thing and gave a little tour of the church and then we had a talent show. Lots of the members danced, sang, and we as missionaries did a funny skit, everyone really had a good time. 

We also did changes on thursday with Presidente, I always enjoy the chance to be in the transfers with him and watch the spirit guide and inspire him. We are going to be getting 19 new missionaries on monday!! 19!! There are going to be a ton of wards with two companionships. The new rule of the 5 weeks thing has affected the mission alot right now, but it should only be like this for a few more weeks and then the investigators who the missionaries have been finding in these past couple of weeks should be getting baptized. It will be alot different because there will be alot of people that we find who we wont be able to see get baptized but it doesnt really matter, as long as they actually join the church! 

Well I´m out of time, but i hope that everyone has a good week! I hope that everything went well with Parker´s eagle project!! Congratulations for completing your Eagle scout bud, thats awesome! I also got the list that dad sent me and wow, I get really nervous looking and all the classes and thinking about college and the real world... Good thing I still have three months left, haha! 

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sorry I'm so late posting Tyler's letters the last 2 weeks. I'll try to do better this week. Thanks for all the support you give Tyler.

Robados (Robbed)

Hey family! 

Hows the week been? Is it starting to get a little bit colder yet in Utah? I swear its gotten even hotter here in Veracruz, but it is starting to rain a lot in the morning and at night. 

We had a really good week, we have been working really good with the members and we are inviting them all to come with us when they give us a reference to introduce us and everything. We are really excited because we found some families to teach! The first one is a family where the mom is super super catholic but she has three kids and she wants us to teach them. The other one is a single mom and her three kids that live exactly behind the church. We hope that they will be able to come to church with us tommorrow. The second family is really receptive and they are catholics but dont really ever go to church. The kids are really smart and love to participate in the lessons and so we bet that they are going to love primary. 

Hna. Amparo and Eli have callings now! Eli is a sunbeams teacher and Amparo is the relief society secretary. We ate with her this week and she says that because she is so new in the church she really has no idea whats going on, haha but she has a great attitude and says that she will get the hang of it, and we are going to help her in what we can. 

We are going to do the changes this thursday with president! Its always really fun to do changes, I`m almost positive I will be here one more change and then who knows what will happen the very last one, but we will just have to see on thursday!

 I heard that dad will be going to new york in a couple of weeks! So jealous, I have always wanted to visit!

So we got robbed for the first time yesterday... I thought I was gonna finish without that happening but nope. Turns out that we were walking in a darker street last night and there wasnt any people. we turned a corner and three drunk guys that were sitting on the curb stood up, two of them ran in front of us, and the other one stood behind. They were pretty drunk and I bet we could have gottne away if we had just ran or something, but who knows if they had knives or something like that. So they basically just started askin for our watches and money, one of them took my watch but then looked at it and didnt want it and gave it back, and i just kept telling him that i didnt have any money, they didnt end up taking anything from me. My companion wasnt so lucky, the drunkest one out of all of them put his keys inbetween his knuckles and put them to Elder Egberts stomach and took his CTR ring (how ironic is that, haha) and like 700 pesos, they basically just wanted quick cash to go buy more beer, im sure. So nothing bad really happened we were lucky and they didnt even end up taking all that much from us. No worries!

Well, im out of time! I hope you have enjoyed your week, I`m so grateful for the wonderful family and friends that I have! 

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond

Pictures: Aug 24th, 2013

5 Domingos (5 Sundays)

Que dice familia!!

How is everything going in good ol Lehi? From the Emails it sounds like everybody is doing good and enjoying the start of school, haha. Good to hear that Parker and Devin are really busy with classes and that mom is perhaps more busy as taxi driver, haha. 

Well this Sunday after church we had a very special baptismal service. Little Sindy got baptized and tommorrow she´s gonna get confirmed. We´re really glad because her family came to church with her and saw her baptism so we hope that the experience can have a good influence on them. Sindy was really excited and is going to continue to learn lots of great things in the primary. We´re grateful because her grandma is an amazing example to her and is going to help her be in church every single sunday. The only sad thing that happened on sunday was that Guadalupe didn´t go to church. It´s been kinda frustrating because she progresses so good in the week but then sunday rolls around and there is always something that stops her from coming. But we´re hoping and praying that she will be able to attend tommorrow. The good thing is that we got a ton of great references this week, we are going to contact a bunch of them today and a couple of them are families...fingers crossed that they are all prepared to accept the gospel!

Speaking of church attendence, we have a new requirement in the mission! It´s a huge change and its going to affect alot of phases of the work for the better. The area presidency announced that the investigators who want to get baptized have to attend church at least 5 times before their baptism, when before they only had to assist two times. We found out on friday night, President called us and let us know and it surprised us a little bit, haha. So president told us that we were going to announce it to all of the zone leaders in the zone leaders council that we had on tuesday, so we got right to work and adjusted and changed everthing that we had to in our manuals that we are going to pass out ot all the missionaries. (So that everything was now based off of the new rule.) We had an amazing zone leaders council and got a bunch of great ideas together to be able to have success with this new rule. I´m really excited for it because it´s going to give us so much more time to teach the investigators and to help them meet more members during their conversion process. We analized the situation with President Treviño on monday and just came up with a ton of advantages to this new rule and we all are sure that its inspired and it will be a huge blessing for the mission and for the investigators.

Dad, as far as the birthday package goes, I could really use a couple of pairs of new socks, but other than that I´m happy with whatever you guys send!! 

I am out of time but I love you guys and thank you so much for your emails!! Have a fantastic labor day!! 

Mucho amor, 

Elder Eastmond