Monday, August 31, 2015

This is T. (The name on one of the pictures was wrong last week.)

Well I don't have much time so I'll just talk about the week really fast. This week we had probably the best week of my mission. Sunday we had 3 families in church because they want to learn more. 

That's all beside the point though. This was my last week with my good friend Elder Chamberlain. That's okay. Changes came again and he went to go be with my other friend Elder Bennet. That's right they're companions now! Anyways, that's okay. My new companion is Elder Stanfield, who is also a gringo. It's a good thing I speak Spanish... hahaha. Anyways I'm really excited to work with Elder Stanfield and I know that we'll have lots of success! Talk to you guys next week!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

G, N, and family.

It's nice to live in Mexico because we have our pet ant clean up crew for all the nasty cockroaches. Dead raoches are gone by the end of the day. hahahahaha

Well it's been an awesome week! Sorry for not having much to say last week but... I just didnt' have that much to say. I have more this week. :) 

We had another miracle this Friday, in the baptism of G, N and T! All of them are actually from the states and their first language is English.

I'll talk about G and N first. They live with their mom and older sister. Those two are members. Their mom went over to the states (I dont know why) in her late teens/early 20s. She and her kids moved around from place to place in the southern United States while the three of them were little. Then, (once again I don't know why) they moved to Salt Lake City. They lived in the basement of a family of Latter-day Saints, and after a time accepted invitaions to go to church. With time, the mom and older child decided to get baptized. G and N were still too young to get baptized. Then, they ended up moving away, buying their own house, and fell away from the church. Because their grandma got really sick, they moved back here to Mexico, and started caring for her. The mom works as an English teacher and a hotel worker, and provides for her three kids. G and N have had desires to come to a church, and have gone to various, but wanted to go to the right one. They found us, and we started teaching them. With dedicated reading and study of the Book of Mormon, they both came to believe that the book is true. And so they got baptized! We're super grateful to have met them and been this help in the lives of this family. 

T was born in LA. She moved here about 6 months ago. Once again I don't know why. She's living with her dad's girlfriend, K, who is also investigating the church and wants to get baptized, but she has to wait until T's dad comes down from the states so they can get married. Anyways, they were already talking to the missionaries in another ward, but moved here and so we got to teach them! T read the Book of Mormon and knows that it's true and therefore decided to get baptized! She feels like the ward is her family and is super grateful to be here. (Will send picture next week.)

Another cool thing that happend this week was that we got to speak with Elder Christofferson, who is an apostle. For those of you who don't know, an apostle is a special witness of Jesus Christ, a prophet, seer, and revelator. When Jesus established His church in the ancient days, He did it over the base of profets and apostles (Ephesians 2:20) indicating that after that manner the true church was to be governed. This is in accordance with the ancient use of prophets in the time before Christ, as shown in the Old Testament (Amos 3:7). That is because when God acts, He acts through them; the prophets and apostles. He established His church over this governing body because they hold the authority (called the priesthood) to govern His church. He gave this authority to them before he was crucified. Unfortunately, after the death of Christ, the people eventually rejected his prophets and apostles, and killed them, thus removing the essential chain of command that kept them linked together under Christ's will and true doctrine. Though the Bible existed, it was impossible for men alone, without divine communication to apostles and prophets, to always correctly interpret it. Thus there were sects broken off from original Christianity, until we come to the world we live in today, where we see that there are many different sects and doctrines, and we know that all cannot be right, because there should be "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism."

God solved the problem of spirtitual darkness by calling Joseph Smith as a prophet and restoring unto him the priesthood, or the right and power to act in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to bring about the salvation of His children. He directed Joseph to call 12 new apostles, and provided the Book of Mormon as reassuring proof of the work that he had done among us. I don't care how much criticsm or how much "evidence" that there is that these things are false. The simple fact is that it's true. I've read the Book of Mormon, and as it directs, I have prayed and asked God if it is true. I've done it many times, and He has manifested to me its truth by the power of the Holy Ghost, just as promised in the Book of Mormon. No man could have translated that book without inspiration from God. Joseph Smith was a prophet. The church has been restored, and will never again be taken from off the earth. That book stands as proof that God exists, that Jesus is the Christ, and that He has restored His kingdom in these latter days, just as promised. 

Jesus has done this in order to further his work, which is "the immortality and eternal life of man." It is His work and His glory, and I know that He does indeed glory in it. It is the source of all happiness. These things are restored so that the words "until death do you part" can be invalidated, eradicated, and "for time and all eternity" can replace them. He has power to bind on earth and in heaven, and He has given it to his servants (Matthew 16) and He has restored that power today, so that families are no longer lost after this life, so that we may exist forever with Him. I know these things are true and what I do every day is declare them to every living soul who will listen, so that they too may come to this knowledge, of a God above and of true and lasting peace and happiness. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you guys! I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
-Elder Thompson  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17 in Aeropeurto, Veracruz City

So this week was really awesome. We went on divisions, and I read an elder's Book of Mormon in Portuguese. I can't speak it, I can't understand it when it's spoken, but I can understand about 90% of Portuguese when it's written. I could definitely read a book in Portuguese. I'm about to order a Book of Mormon in Portuguese to practice. (When I'm not too lazy). 

Other stuff that happened, we ate pizza like, 4 times this week. I'm almost getting sick of it. Almost. Not quite. I could eat another. They only have pizza in the port (where I am) in Cordova, Orizaba, and Tuxtepec. Sooo.... about half of the mission doesn't have pizza. Changes are coming soon and I will almost certainly be leaving, and if I do that means I'll be going to a new area, prolly way outside the port. The food here is excellent. I'm very lucky right now. Everyone here is surprised when they hear that in the U.S. we don't eat with tortillas at every meal. There are also people that think all Americans are cowboys.

There's something weird that happens to me when I get on here to write, I like, can't really remember what happened during the week except for the really big stuff so.... nothing really important happened this week. But somthing cool happening this Saturday is that Elder Christofferson, from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostoles is coming to talk to us this Saturday morning. I'm super excited! 

We get to see the broadcast of the Mexico City Temple rededication in September, which I am super excited for.

I miss you all and have a great week!

Elder Thompson

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10 in Veracruz

Inline image 1Inline image 2
These are from about a month ago, celebrating the one year mark. Pizza, you can get in Veracruz, but not in Tuxtlas.

Ok sorry guys that I didn't send a group last week, I was a little busy and out of time. But this was a really great week! 

Something really cool that's happening right now is that literally 50% of the people we are teaching speak English just as good as or better than Spanish. So me and Elder Chamberlain teach a bit in English now. It's actually really hard. But it's also fun. Two of the people that we are teaching right now are named G. and N. They're siblings, and lived in Salt Lake City for 11 years. They were born in the states, but their mom and their older sister are from Veracruz. Their mom and sister are both actually members, they got baptized in Utah, but G. and N. were too young when they were there. They came here to Mexico a little over 2 years ago, and they all speak fluent English. G. and N. speak it better than Spanish. They talked to us because we're two white people in Mexico, and they recognized us as missionaries. Turns out they didn't know where the church was here. They want to be members of some church, but they are confused because there are so many and they want to know which is the one that God wants for them. We taught them about the restoration of the Gospel and of the church of Christ and then obtained Books of Mormon in English, which we gave to them. We invited them to read and pray to ask if the book is true, and they have! They recieved answers through the Holy Ghost, and now want to get baptized. We will probably be baptizing them this weekend! 

It's awesome to see the way that God prepares his children to recieve his word. Also how he puts them in our path. Like it says in the scriptures, God can do his own work, He doesn't need us to help Him, but rather, He allows it because He knows that it can make us happy. But that doesn't mean that He entrusts whoever to whatever person to teach. He trusts His faithful followers to work hard, to be prepared, to teach with love and with the power of conversion, so that His children can recognize the truthfulness of what He teaches. I know this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ. He guides and directs us today. We have His power and His authority, of which the Book of Mormon and our modern-day prophets stand as solemn witnesses. I hope all of you one day have the opportunity to learn these things as well. 

-Elder Thompson  

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 3 in Aeropuerto, Veracruz City

FROM ELDER CHAMBERLAIN, Cordell's Companion (Cordell wrote individual emails this week but not a group email): 

Elder Chamberlain:
This week has been great! We have worked a ton and feel good about it. Elder Thompson mentioned that we might have worked too hard. I don´t think so, but anyways, haha. 

This Tuesday we found out that we needed to help in an activity that the youth were doing and that we needed to be at the stake center at 8:20 in the morning on Friday. We figured it wouldn´t be very long, so we put appointments for that morning during the week. 

On Wednesday we had to go have a district class and then we had to work in an area that is kind of far from where we are. We also had the interview of the Hermano that got baptized on Saturday. Sergio. He is awesome. In a year we hope that his wife and him will be able to get sealed!

Thursday we had our planeamiento semenal and that was in the morning. We left late to work because the people that were supposed to bring us food brought it late, so we ate late but we were able to work. It was good.

So Friday was the amazing day!! We had the activity with the youth in the morning and we found out Thursday night that the activity would last until about 12:30 so we had to cancel our appointments for the morning, and then we went to the activity. It turns out we took part in the youth conference that they had. A group of them went out with us, to an area near the stake center and we contacted. We shared short messages and we tried to give service. When we were heading back, we got a call that said that we would be staying there until 1...... so we kept working and we heard that the youth were pretty amazed at how hard the work is. It was super easy work too. We did get back to our area and we were go go go go go go go go. We ended up having seven lessons with our investigators and they were good lessons. We know that God helped us see the people we needed to see and to help those people. 

We did have the opportunity with one person this week that some elders gave us the reference and Elder Thompson and I decided to pray about it. We felt that we shouldn´t baptize her this week and that it was a test to see if our pride would get in the way of the conversion of the people. We were not concerned about missing our streak baptizing five weeks in a row, and we felt good about holding off a week. We are going to work a lot now because we found a family that lived in Utah for 11 years and the two teenage kids aren´t baptized. The mom and the sister are, but the younger ones aren´t. We wanted to work with them for a couple weeks later, but Sunday in ward council they told us that in their classes they know everything and they should just get baptized. We are going to work a lot with them to be able to see if they can, but we will do what the Lord wants puting our pride aside. 

Saturday we were super tired. We were so exhausted from working so hard on Friday, so we are trying to rest today so we can get better to work. We both mentioned that we had never been so emotionally, or spiritually tired in a long time here. ahah 

Sunday I learned a lot from priesthood meeting to be able to help me understand more about the priesthood and the deberes del sacerdocio. Estoy muy feliz para estar aquí y la hermana con quien comimos nos cocinó lazania with salad and icecream for desert. She made corn on the cob and mashed potatos too. It felt like an American meal! 

That is my week and I was able to learn a lot in my studies this week. I sure love you all and hope you all are well. I will send pictures next week and will let you know how this week goes. 


Elder Chamberlain