Tuesday, September 29, 2015

No water in Coatzintla

Awesome week. The start of the week was slow as Elder Reyes was sick and that meant lots of scriptures and church movies... for a day and half he was pretty much only in bed with "dolor de cuerpo." lol and although it was boring it allowed me to do a lot of reading.

My investigators are all progressing some faster than others and this week was planned for two baptisms. The days for the interviews came and one didn't show... the other did and this Sunday was gonna be the baptism.. and then Sunday morning she had something come up in Poza Rica and couldn't go.. we pushed it back to next week but the cool thing of the week was the missionaries who are in my district have been teaching this mother and her son. The mom was baptized last week and the son was being baptized this week. He went to all the activities and church as well where I got to know him and spend some good time talking with him. During his interview he asked if I could baptize him. So this Sunday I was able to have my first baptism who wasn't even my convert. Crazy and weird but it all happened from just talking and getting to know him during the church activities.

Today we went in to Poza Rica for a couple hours and that meant Walmart, Little Caesars, and lots and lots of little street side tiendas. Not much more to talk about but this week is General Conference and I know it's going to be a good one. New apostoles and awesome talks. WOOT HOLLAND.

My last thing to say is be thankful of where you live. Here in Coatzintla every couple months the city has a water shortage to the point where for 4 days.. our house has not had water. That meant no shower, no bathroom, no cleaning dishes... nada. Luckily we were able to shower at the other missionaries house but man let me tell you walking 20 minutes for a shower and the bathroom is bien chafa. Love you all and watch all of conference! Enjoy the pics (:


Elder Babcock

Monday, September 21, 2015

Two months down

Two months down. Wow! The time is flying by and I'm loving the work more and more. Nothing necessarily amazing happened this week, but even that it's been one of the best weeks. It started early with Mexican Independence Day. We had to be in our houses at 6 p.m. and with that time my district waged war in six continents with RISK, while outside there were parties and gun shots. We played RISK and drank "jugo de durazno". Throughout this week we have had lots of lessons and lots of contacting in the street and such. There are two investigators who we might baptize this week so look out for that! We had Mexican night both for the ward and our stake.. wow.. the songs, the dances. just wow. lol It's different.. but there was plenty of horchata and AC so I didn't complain too much.

This week we had a lesson with an hermana in the ward and she isn't endowed and only has one child who lives at home. Her husband isn't a member and he works for two weeks and then gets one week home, and then two weeks away again, and it's really hard for her. The other night she had my companion give her a blessing. She told us she feels alone and that there's no one there for her and that turning to the scriptures helps but only so much. Afterward I felt like I should pull out my Ensign from this last general conference in April. I didn't know the talk I was looking for I just knew it was Elder Holland. It was in English but we searched it on her TV and we started to watch this talk in Spanish. Afterwards she said thanks and we left. Not much. She seemed a little happier but not too much. Well! The next day she asked us to come in for a drink. Then she told me she had watched the talk a little more than 10 times since the first time, and every time it got better and better and that this talk brought peace to her through Elder Holland's message.

We also had a conference with our mission president a little while ago and he talked about D&C 18:10. ALL souls are great to God. Not just baptisms or new investigators and he talked a lot about how we should help the members too not just the people we can baptize. Anyway yeah this week was good and the Spanish is getting better everyday (: love you all and who is excited for general conference? Because two days of modern-day scripture sounds amazing to me (:


Elder Babcock

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 2

This week has been awesome. There is never really any down time but I'm fine with working all day as the time flies. For Sept. we have 4ish dates for baptism and October almost 7. I'm loving the work and the Spanish is coming more and more every day. The gift of tongues is real, people.

We had a really cool chance to be a part of the rededication of the Mexico City temple. There were three hour and a half sessions of like mini-conference in Spanish. All the talks were centered on the temple and its importance. Elder Holland and Pres. Eyring were there and both gave 3 amazing talks about temples and their personal importance to them. Elder Holland talked first and his story was about how amazing temples are, when they aren't close or when they are being renovated. His story was about his son when he was getting ready to go on a mission. Their temple in London was being renovated and there was no other close temples. So his wife and son flew to Utah and decided to do his first temple session in the St. George temple. They planned so that his wife and son would start the temple session at 11 am in Utah and at this same time he would be home from work at 6 pm in Europe and would clean up the room and have his own little scripture study with the temple and his family in mind. He talked about how before 6, it felt like a normal day. But as he concluded his opening prayer at 6, the feeling of peace and love came over him as he new the at this time his son was starting his first session in the temple. He said while reading the scriptures he couldn't help but wonder. Was my son okay? Was he lost with what was happening? What if he got worried or made a mistake? And then the same calm feeling of peace came again. He knew that not only was his wife there, but that all the temple workers that day were his personal "angels" "sentinels" "guardians" and so forth that day. He said that one of his best temple experiences was a day he wasn't even in the temple. He said some days the temples are very far from us and we can't always go when we want to... but that we should keep our temple covenants close to us always so that when the temple is far physically, it's right with us always spiritually.

I'm sad I don't get to go to the temple in this mission for two years.. but I know that the peace and love we feel at the temple is here with me in Xalapa as I keep and think of my sacred covenants I've made. I love this gospel and I've seen families become closer here in 2 short weeks by the lessons taught to non member families. President Greer believes missionaries have 5 purposes: find, teach, baptize, reactivate, and get them to the temple. I know that the temple is the best place on this earth we can go to be close to God, but whens it's far away physically, it doesn't have to be spiritually (: now Pres. Eyring gave an awesome talk too. But it was on temple marriage and that's not on the mind until July 2017 :) Anyway I love you all and Xalapa and specifically Coatzintla is awesome (:


Elder Babcock

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekly recap from Coatzintla

Wow! First week in the mission has been one for the books. It started in Xalapa in the mission office with lots and lots and lots of paperwork. After that came the mission house where I got my companion, Elder Reyes. He's from Sonora, Mexico. He's super chill and also our district leader. He's quickly become one of my best friends and we get along really well. We spent the night in some huge apartment for the assistants and then in the morning we left for our area. My first area is Coatzintla, and it took me like four days to learn how to pronounce it. Anyway it's a small town just south of Poza Rica. It's hot... super hot. Like 90s all day as well as 80%+ humidity.. Everyone here carries little wash cloths to wipe their faces and hands because everyone just sweats so much.

In my area we have had lots of success in the past and that's continuing right now! We already have four planned baptisms for this month of September and another two for October. My first day we didn't do many lessons but the second and third I only helped a little. Giving my testimony at the end or sharing a small scripture. But on my fourth day we had this new investigator, he's 15, lives like 2 miles from the city and his house has like maybe two rooms and tarps covering the open roof.. We sat on little stepping stools as we taught him and this was the first lesson that I started. Through the bad Spanish I could tell he understood and about 45 minutes later we began to explain baptism and why it's important. I gave him the invitation to be baptized and who would have guessed it he said yes. We have lessons with him every other day until then but I'm super excited to get to know him and continue to help him with progressing in the gospel. 

The members here are are amazing, especially "cookie mama". Anytime she sees us or we go and teach a small lesson to here. "Elders want some Coke?" "How about some bread for the road?" "We just finished cooking a chicken want some?" "I bought two kilos of bananas take some" I swear if it wasn't so hot I'd be like 20 pounds heavier because of her.. Besides that there's not much else. Everyday is wake up study for a couple hours and then go teach the people of Coatzintla. The food is amazing. Haven't had a weird meal yet but I'm sure that's soon going to change. But the members are so nice and friendly and everything is super cheap so that's nice too. 3 liter Coke=$1.75 full sized hamburgers=$1.20 its a dream come true (; expect the perritos... hijole. Every street has like 10 stray dogs all of them a different breed and everyone is more nasty and dreadlocked than the last. It's sad.. I used to like seeing dogs. 

There's so much more but it I'll wait until next week. Love you all tons (: and thanks for all the amazing examples you've been to me. The people in Mexico don't know about the gospel that has so completely blessed me and my family and friends so much, and I'm so glad I get to share it with them so they can experience this joy as well (: ALSO I HAD ELOTE (the corn from Nacho Libre) AND IT'S AMAZING. It's like $.75 and I eat like one a night.

Love you all!

Elder Babcock

First apartment

On the way to a lesson
Elder Reyes & Elder Babcock