Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 25 in Orizaba

So this week was great! J and V progressed a ton! only that.... we couldnt quite get them in church :( But it's okay well get them next week! We also found another family that were investigators of Elder Stanfield's (he was here about 9 months ago) that are really good!

My comp and I are working really hard cause I'm in my last 9 weeks as a missionary! We gotta finish strong! We started working a ton with the elders' quorum president, cause he's amazing here. 

That's pretty much all for this week (for time) but I'll write more next week!

Elder Thompson

Friday, April 22, 2016

April 18 in Orizaba

Well Orizaba finally began to pick up!  

This week we had 2 miracles: J and V. 

J is 26. He lives with his mom and his little brother, who's 22. We met J at a ward activity, where all the members went to go play soccer and invited other people to come too. At the activity we talked to him and he didn't seem that interested, but then when we went to go teach the son of a member who's not baptized, J was sitting outside the house! Then it turned out that the person we had had the appointment with didn't show up, so we just invited J inside and started talking with him! He expressed his ideas that nothing really quite "fits" in the religion he grew up in (he's Catholic). He didn't understand why there are so many different religions if there's only one God, and why do so many people break His commandments that he's given them through the Bible (if they actually believe). We taught him about the Restoration and he's really interested! He thinks it makes sense that there should be a prophet in our day and that there should be a Restoration. He's preparing for baptism in May. 

V is 17-18 (I forget). She has a friend who's a member in another ward, and she invited her to church and a bunch of church activities, and then the missionaries over there found her and passed her to us! She's got a ton of doubts about EVERYTHING. She considers that she is searching the churches in order to find the one that is correct. She's worried about her family, which is her, her parents, and her little sister (who's 15). She is searching for that peace and to just be happy. Fortunately, that's a direct result of living the restored gospel!!!!

The closer and closer I get to finishing this thing, the more I realise what a blessing the mission has been to me, in strengthening, more than anything, my testimony of Jesus Christ. I know that He is MY Saviour and Redeemer, and that He died to pay the price for my sins. I know that through true and sincere repentance, whatever person can receive remission of their sins and have a true change of heart, if they will just live the principles of the restored gospel. One scripture that I have been meditating on a ton recently is Moroni 7:24. For now it might be my favorite scripture. It says something like this: "All good things come of Christ; otherwise, men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them." When Adam fell, mankind became "sensual and diabolical": essentially, the fallen, the natural man. This "natural man" is an enemy to God. So our physical natures are basically against the good things of God, unless we become changed from our fallen and natural state, by the redemption, and atonement of Christ, and repenting and living His gospel. 

Thus, all good things come from God. We, being enemies to Him, could receive no good thing, were it not for the sacrifice of Christ. All good things come of Him. I know it. 

Talk to you guys next week! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 11 in Orizaba

Soooooooo this week has been crazy. I feel like every week now for me is super crazy. Orizaba is WAYYYY different than any other area that I've ever been in, and it is nothing like the Mexico that I know. It's a completely different world. It's not hot here, it's consistently between 65-75 degrees, with its worst days getting up to 80-85. That's pretty cool for me after living in 100 or more heat for almost 2 years. 

It's a very wealthy area. In other places, the people struggle just to stay above the water. They worry about what they're going to eat tomorrow, etc.They often can't find fixed work and they aren't very educated. Here most people have good jobs and there actually is lots of work. Most people are pretty well off. (We're not talking like, USA-level well off, but they have enough. There are lots of nice houses and stuff like that. It's like a different world.)

This makes proselyting way different. There are different needs, different times to find people, everything is different. 

This city is also very dangerous. There is crime everywhere in Mexico, and nowhere is really truly safe, but here in Orizaba it's much more dangerous than any other place in the mission. We have to be inside at 8:30 every night and there are many places we can't be in after 6 (even though it's still light out), because it's so dangerous. This makes proselyting hard, because everyone has work here, and they don't start getting home til 7ish. We still haven't quite figured out how to have success here cause it's so different, but we'll get there. 

There's loads of cool stuff to see here in Orizaba. I will be sending pictures in the next 4 weeks (for me that feels like 2 or 3 days, sorry if it seems like a long time. ) 

As I come to the close of my mission ( I have 11 weeks left), I come to recognize more and more every day the truth and the importance of this gospel, and the emptiness of life if you don't have it with you. I'm so grateful for my Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and for all the blessings that I have received because He has again stretched forth His hand to restore the gospel with all of it's perfect principles and ordinances. It's a perfect gospel, and a perfect plan, made by a perfect and loving God, to help us, the fallen and the imperfect, become redeemed and born again of the Spirit, thanks to the marvelous sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Salvation comes by Him and through Him, and by no other means. However, He does not save us  "in" our sins, but rather, "from" our sins, having payed the price for them, and having prepared the way for us to live completely free of them, through the gospel of repentance, and faith on His name, and the redeeming ordinances performed by the power of the priesthood. I am so grateful that I have a hope in this life, and a reason to live, and a reason to be happy, and a perfect motivation to follow Christ, because of a hope of redemption from death, through the resurrection of Christ. 

I'll write more next week. I hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Thompson   

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April 4 in ORIZABA

Well this week was full of surprises! First off it was General Conference week. That's always super cool. Second off we had a baptism of a kid named Saul that I wrote about last week. He has a super strong testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but he's only 9! He reads his Book of Mormon and the Bible every day, and most important, he knows that Jesus Christ is his Savior. Honored to be able to be his missionary. 

Now onto the super suprising news of the week: Changes. Our mission has been sent lots of sister missionaries.There are almost as many of them as there are elders now, and so changes came. Now there will be sisters in Independencia (Tierra Blanca). Which means I'm not there anymore! My time there was brief, but it was a blast. I'm now in a place that I never thought I'd get to go: Orizaba. I'm in the Reforma ward (don't get that confused with the Reforma stake where I was in Aeroport and in La Laguna while in Veracruz City.) Orizaba is a small-big city built near the 3rd highest peak in North America. It's up in the mountains. Ive only been here for about 4 hours, but it's awesome. I wish  had more than 3 months left so that I could be here more. The best part about Orizaba is that it's not hot. It's cold. And there's lots of rain. We'll see how I do. My companion is Elder Howard. He's from Bountiful, Utah, and he's a stud. We're going to have a blast teaching and working here! Hopefully he is my last companion. 

Anyways that's all for now cause I have NO time, but talk to you all next week!

Elder Thompson