Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 28 in Aeropeurto, Veracruz City

What's up guys? This was a really interesting week for me. We worked hard, but not too hard becuase my companion was sick. We don't know what he has. There are these 2 viruses that are carried by mosquitos here in Mexico that are called dengue and chikunguya. (I dunno if I spelled that last one right.) Don't worry, these two diseases usually aren't fatal. Anyways he had some symptoms of the latter, but they ran some tests for those, and they all came back normal. So we're going to talk with the doc again soon since he's still sick. 

So, we didn't get to do all that much work this week, but our investigators are still doing great! That's the good part. C. and F. are coming closer to the divorce that F. needs, and so they are getting closer to getting baptized! I'm super happy for them. It makes me so happy to see people that change so much thanks to living the gospel. I love this gospel. I know it is the good news of Jesus Christ and that it has changed my life, will continue changing my life until the day I am who God wants me to be, and that through me, and all other people who choose to embrace this gospel, God will changes the lives of others, too. There's really no better purpose in life than this: to go about doing good.

Hope you all have a great week. Talk to you next week!

-Elder Thompson  

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21 in Aeropeurto

Wow so we had a great week this week here in Aeropuerto!!! So much stuff happened, but God's grace was with us so we made it through! 

First off, Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on the 15th and 16th of September here. So on Tuesday and Wednesday we had to go to our houses early because of all the partying and something called El Grito (the shout). What they do is, in the middle of the night they all congregate around the central government building of the city or of the town, and then a representative comes out on a balcony and starts shouting: "¡Viva!" (Followed by the name of one of the Mexican revolucionists.) For example, "¡Viva Juarez!", and then the people shout it back. They go down the list of names of basically all the Mexican founding fathers and then they shout "¡Viva México!" over and over again. As you can imagine it's loaded with drunks and partiers, and we missionaries are strictly forbidden to go. But I got to see what it looks like on the news the next day when we went to a sister's house to eat. :) 

Anyways, another super cool thing this week was that 11 investigators went to church. We were obviously super happy. About 8 of them have to get married before they get baptized, but I don't care, I'm helping to unite families, and it makes me happy to see them get happier and change to put their lives in accordance with God's will. These people are really trying, and I know that Heavenly loves them, and I do too. The missionary work is the best thing in the world. 

After church on Sunday, I got a call from President Cordoba, the president of my mission, and he's like, "Elder Thompson, we're going to do the interviews of you guys today, but seeing as how you have appointments all day,  I'll just come with you guys to a lesson and then afterwards we'll do the interview."

We cleaned the house fast as lightning. 

Then we went to go see (a family of three) and we had a super awesome lesson with President. The father knows that the church is true, but basically didn't want to get baptized because of his pride. So we talked with him and helped him out. The mother was a huge help. The father is now getting baptized in early October (happy birthday present for me) and I learned a lot from President. I learned how to listen, and how to ask questions, and how to teach clearly. It was an awesome and humbling experience for me. 

One thing I really saw this week is how pride is a stumbling block. Pride is like a dam. It seals up the flow of  water, and progress, and though that may be desirable sometimes with rivers, the only thing it does to a human soul is stop it from reaching its full potential. The Bible states mnay times that we may inherit the Kingdom of God. It also says that we are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. 

Let's put 2 and 2 together. When a king tells his son, the prince, that he may inherit his kingdom, he clearly means that his son may also be made king one day, and that it is the desire of the king that it be that way. But, if the father is a good king, then he will not give the kingdom to his son unless he knows that his son will be a good, just and righteous king. If he sees that his son may be otherwise, then he will bestow the kingdom upon another. It is likewise with God, our Heavenly Father. He truly is a great King, and His kingdom is so great, and His dominion so important and so loved by Him, that He will only let perfect beings, such as He is, inherit his throne. 

We are naturally imperfect, and thus not fit to rule. Actually, we have transgressed, every one, the very laws that of the kingdom that we are meant to govern. We've sinned, breaking the commandments of God. Therefore we must be subject to justice, just as anyone else would be, because our Father and King is perfectly just. That means that there is a price that must be paid. Spiritually, our wrong choices leave us imprisoned, and separated from the presence of our King and God. 

But because our Father loves us, he sent us Mercy, in the form of his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Christ suffered and payed for our transgressions. Every. Single. One. He "bailed us out of jail", or ransomed us from the consequences of our choices, all of us. The work and the toil to be able to pay the price, the excruciating pain, was so much that even He, the greatest of all, trembled, and bled form every pore. He payed the price of the bailout. We are all free to choose now, in this mortal life. It is our probation. Our testing time, where our father will watch us to see if we will repent of our sins, to see if we will abide His law. He understands that we won't be perfect in this life, but if we pass the test, through sufficient reptentance and obedience to his commandments, then He raises us up, to be with Him after this life, to continue to progress until we become like Him, and are able to inherit all that He has. 

On the other hand, the children that still do not obey His law, the ones that mock the suffering and the love and condescension of Christ and of God by their abiding disobedience, they are not fit, and must pay the price of their own sins, because they were too proud to do what was neccessary, too proud to change, to become who their Eternal Father wanted them to be through the grace of Christ. They consider a life of crime against the Most High better than a life of obedience to His Law, when they might have inherited the kingdom of their father through repentance. They literally "dam" themselves, sealing themselves away in a spiritual prison, stopping all eternal progess, and limiting themselves to a fraction of the life they could have had, had they just humbled themselves and done what was necessary. 

I invite all of you to do a self-examination, to look for being proud and cast it out. If you have feelings of hate, envy, anger, or even fear of what other people might think of you, this is pride, and it is Satan trying to stop you from reaching your divine potencial. Please do what is necesary to cast it out. Christ already paid the price. Come out of the prison cell and come to Him and change. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

- Elder Thompson

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14 in Aeropeurto, Veracruz

Well, it was an awesome week down here in Veracruz. Seriously though, it was rather eventful. First, on Tuesday they cut our power. We left in the morning to go to a zone class, and then when we got back there was no power. Upstairs (yes, in this house we have 2 floors) it gets SUPER hot without the AC on (yes we also have AC in this house, in our bedroom) so we moved the beds downstairs and slept with the doors and windows open. And it was still super hot. There's literally nothing you can do to stop sweating. I remember when we found out we weren't going to be sleeping with AC. I just started laughing. That would happen to us. It was okay. Even though we were miserable, we didn't get attacked in the night by anyone, and we were blessed to be able to get enough sleep. Anyways on Thursday morning (3 nights in these conditions) some dudes from the government came and turned on the lights, after we called them and told we had already paid the bill. So we were saved. 

Other than that, K. got baptized this week! Her grandma and mom are excited to get sealed when they can. 

In other news, we've had loads of cool stuff happen this week. We've worked super hard for everyone. There's this one couple, they're named C. and F. Their kids have been members for like, 3 years. But they can't get baptized because she isn't divorced from her first husband, and divorce here in Mexico is freaking infuriating. It's incredibly hard to get a divorce because of the process; 99% of the time one of the two in the marriage says "pay me "X" amount of money and I'll sign the papers for divorce." It's illegal, but because of the way things work, it's almost impossible to stop it. So divorce is super hard. But with some help from some local members, we've got a really good lawyer who's going to make her divorce happen super fast so that they can get married and get baptized. When I shared this news with C. and F., it was amazing to see the gratitude in their eyes. 

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to help  these families. I know that one day they can be an eternal family and there's nothing more important than that! I'm so glad that my Father in Heaven has permitted me to help people and to unite families, it's the best thing that I could be doing! I know that even though it may seem impossible, especially here in Mexico, for the family to survive, it's possible. And that's the work of God. 

Love you guys and talk to you next week!
Elder Thompson

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 7 in Aeropeurto, Veracruz City

So this was a cool week! First week with a new companion is always strange but this one went unusually well! Elder Stanfield is from Washington, and he's got 20 months in the mission. Aeropuerto will be his last area. So I'm working super hard every day so that these can be the best last few months in his mission! He's a super cool guy and we're working super hard together. 

We had a really cool story this week! 

We have one investigator named Maria that is a relativley old lady. She has a small restaurant. A few weeks back she came up to me and said "Who are you guys?" We told her we were missionaries and she said, "Why don't you come by tomorrow to share your message with me?" We went and we taught, and came back a few days later. She had read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, and prayed. She then began to tell us about how she felt after she prayed. She had felt a reassuring feeling of saftey and peace so strong that she began to cry. Then, as she was telling us of this moment, she felt it again, and began to cry once again. She started coming to church and wanted to get baptized. She was progressing like crazy. The spirit had manifested to her heart that it was true, just as promised in the introduction of the Book of Mormon and in Moroni 10:3-5. But then the problems came. 

In order for her to get baptized, she would need to get married to her boyfriend first. They had been living together for over 30 years, and had had kids and raised a family together, but they weren't married. Recently they had started to have problems and even though she wanted to get married, he didn't. 

Eventually she became harder and harder to find, and because she was never home, we thought she didn't want to talk with us anymore, so we stopped going. Well, this week, some plans fell through, and we were in the area, and I felt like we should go by and visit her. We started talking again, and my companion left her some inspired counsel: say "I love you" to your husband every day. At least once. Watch how it changes things. Three days later, we came back, and she said that their relationship was changing rapidly. That he was less angry and she was less critical. He had begun telling her that he loved her too. He got to the point where he actually wants to get married! 

The lesson is that we need to use our words. Sure, actions speak louder, but actions without words is like cake without icing.

Well, that's all I have to say. Talk to you guys next week!

Elder Thompson