Today (Monday June 27th, 2016) is officially President Egbert's last day as a mission president. President Kimball arrives later this afternoon, and the next era of the Misión México Pachuca will begin. Big stuff. Big stuff.
Meanwhile, we're still here in Mixquiahuala seeing loads of miracles.
First things first:
Nailed another baptism this week with Karla. She was the one who was baptized 6 years ago but was never confirmed. This time we got her to church, and finished the ordinance!
We don't have any for this coming weekend, but we'll have 5 the weekend after with the miracle family and the purple door I told about last week. They came to church, and they are still loving the gospel. We taught them tithing and fast offerings last night slightly fearing their reaction, but Adriana said, "so... Paying our tithing gives us big blessings... and if we give a more generous fast offering, we'll receive more blessings, right?" They were so on-board! They also asked us about the Liahona magazine, so we're going to give them some of the old ones we have in the house to let them read. Ugh. They're the best. I so hope I don't get changed this coming weekend. That would be the absolute WORST! Either way, I'm grateful for the six months I've had here, and while I'd like to stay for the rest of my mission, I'll go where I'm needed. I just REALLY hope it's here that I'm needed...
Over the course of the year and a half that I have been out on my mission, I've really come to discvoer and appreciate the importance of developing Christ-like attributes in our lives. I've seen the benefits of it not only in my own life, but in the lives of countless others as I and my companions have tried to help them develop said attributes. One example is Yamy. She is the daughter of a convert of just over a month (Martha for those who remember her). She has some... I'll simply call them bad habits that she has needed to break and had expressed to us that she wanted to break (language, anger, lack of patience, etc). All the while, however, the natural man within her fought us to maintain said habits. It came to the point where I simply wasn't afraid to bring the hammer down on her and tell her exactly how it is and why, causing her to grow angry before I brought the hammer down again telling her to control her anger. Through a very constant and unmoving effort, we have seen a rather large improvement in her, to the point where she actually accompanies the sister missionaries on a regular basis now. She expressed to us the other day that of all the people she has known, I am the single person who has been able to make her the most angry of anyone... but I have also helped her to control said anger.
Now, obviously enraging Yamy was not my intention (I'll admit it was fun at times...), but I have seen a great change in her as she has earnestly striven to apply the things we have been teaching her family. She still has some room for improvement, but she's working on it.
Through Yamy's example, I've really been able to see the changes in my own life that the gospel has developed in my life. I have been able to grow more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Obviously I still have plenty of room for improvement, but that's the purpose of life. We'll never get to a point where we can say, "Yes! I've developed *attribute of Christ* perfectly!" We may be better in certain aspects than others, but there will always be things we can and really need to improve upon. That's the definition of excellence: not being satisfied with what we have already achieved. Rather, we should always look for what else we can achieve or improve without looking for excuses to stay as we are. We can be happy with the changes and improvements we have made, but we should never EVER be satisfied.
Iré y haré,
As you may have inferred from the subject line for this week, it was a pretty neat week. I forgot to bring the chord for my camera, so I can put the pictures in (sad day), but we'll be fine. We had another baptism this week (Emanuel), and he has one of the most powerful testimonies of any recent convert I've seen. He's 18 years old, and he'll be an awesome missionary in a year or two.
Story time! About three weeks ago, Elder Espinoza and I went on splits with some of the youth of the ward. Due to his lack of knowledge in the area, he was going to be contacting for about 3 hours while I went with our set appiontments. He and Lalo started wtih a prayer and Elder Espinoza said, "all right. Pick a color and a number."
-"Um... Purple. 43."
So they set off to contact anything that had purple and any house number 43. They actually found a purple house number 43 (who'da thunk?), but no one was home. We'll go back over there and see if we can find someone one of these days.
After about an hour, they came across a purple door and said, "all right. It's purple. Let's knock." A little girl answered the door with her grandmother behind her, and they immediately invited them in. The children of this family began expressing to Elder Espinoza all of the problems in their family (their separated parents thinking about an official divorce more than anything), and they wanted our help. Challenge accepted.
Due to scheduling issues that sometimes happen when we go on splits, we were unable to go by again until about a week later. We began visiting them, and made a very consistent effort to see them every day.
The first Sunday after we started teaching them, we were going to pick them up and all walk to church. Braulio (the father) walked out of the house when we knocked and said, "sorry, guys. It's that... my wife says doesn't want to keep listening to you guys anymore. But if you want, I'll still come with you to church. Let me grab the kids." Obviously, we were rather broken-hearted at such news, but we waited while everyone scrambled to get ready; they're a family of 6 with the oldest daughter being 10 years old, so you can imagine the chaos.
About a half-hour later, we all walked out the door when we saw none other than Adriana (the mother) walk out behind us and shut the door, all ready to go. They went to church and absolutely loved it, even though they only stayed for the first hour. Since then, only one day has passed that we haven't visited them, and every time we do, they are more and more excited about the gospel. They've already begun to live the commandments as well. We bought their coffee from them and dumped it down the toilet (that was fun). They're legally married, so there aren't any law of chastity problems. They're all super excited to go to church every Sunday, and they even participate in the classes. Really the only downside is that I probably won't still be in Mixquiahuala for their baptism on the 9th (changes are on the 4th), but we'll see what happens, I suppose.
I know the Lord is guiding our footsteps in every moment. We need only remain faithful and trust in His ways. Sometimes the miracles come in strange ways such as getting lost looking for someone else. Sometimes they come in grand ways such as someone asking us to teach them the gospel. Sometimes they're ways so simple as "Purple 43", but they always come to the faithful.
Iré y haré,
First things first, the pictures I tried to send last week that my camera wouldn't allow:
Porfirio's baptism (he also got the priesthood on Sunday :D)
I found an army of 19 puppies this week in the house of some of my converts back in Presas. They're 11 pitbulls and 8 dalmations. This was an amazing milestone in my life...
As I have said in the past few weeks, Mixquiahuala has been exploding with baptisms lately. This week:
*insert photo of Porfirio's baptism here; darn camera*
Porfirio was baptized! Everybody was super excited for his baptism (for the increased priesthood in the ward). Porfirio went around inviting everything that moved to go, and yes, we had an incredible turnout. Lots of support from the ward.
I feel like I have so many stories from this week, but my time is short, so I'll give some brief summaries. We had leadership council and zone training which went swimmingly; we went on exchanges with the assistants which was fun; I took an hour and a half bus ride with one of the young men to do a baptismal interview which the investigator didn't pass because he drank coffee the day before, Elder Espinoza doesn't even need me anymore due to his knowledge of the area and our ability to do splits, Emanuel received a strong confirmation of his need to be baptized and is totally good to go for the 18th, and Natali (the 15-year-old girl from last week's email) is somewhat coming around. Don't worry, my guard is still up, but she sat in on our lesson with the Portillo family yesterday. She didn't say much of anything (as usual), but she was there. We'll see what happens.
I stole some pictures off the mission blog of Elder Espinoza and I. Look at those handsome devils.
And here's the zone after Zone Training
And I believe those are all the stories I have from this week. If anyone cares for more details, I may potentially have time next week to tell more.
Iré y haré,
LOCATE ELDER GROESBECK!
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE LOCATION ON MAP WHERE ELDER GROESBECK IS CURRENTLY SERVING IN MEXICO.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ELDER GROESBECK'S FAITH
This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)