Monday, October 26, 2015

Lessons from stake conference

Busy busy busy week. Lots of really cool things happening. This week was stake conference in Poza and also we had lots of new people to teach. Lots of new families as well as lots of less actives that we wanted to work with.

A little bit of numbers for you people back home about my stake I serve in. There are 5,044 members. Yeah I know woot woot. BUT like most of Mexico the problem is less active members. People get baptized and then just jump into the ocean or something. Of the members we have a whopping 803 active members. Yeah. The math the leaders did was like 16% or so. But idk because I have 2 years of no math so I'm gonna live it up as much as i can. (; but yeah that was a shocker to me and so in the stake conference they talked a lot about missionary work. Not just with full time ones but as members as well. They talked about how for a ward to have success in the mission field, it starts with a mission plan for the ward. Goals and plans to complete regarding less actives or new people. That's the bishop and ward mission leaders' jobs (; and then its up to us. The members and the full time missionaries to complete these goals and ultimately bring people back to the "fold" so to speak. They also talked a lot about leaders and how they can be success in their callings. I really loved one part of this. "Hay 4 principios de liderazgo." Catch all that? (;

Anyway they go 1) prepare spiritually. This is like the sunday school answers. pray, read the scriptures, ponder them. Fast, keep the commandments. 2) "participar en consejos." Basically talk with other leaders in your area about the needs of the people you are serving. Or that need help. I'm going to put 3 and 4 together as they sometimes go together but I love the way they pulled them a part to show the importance of these parts. 3) Serve others and 4) Teach the gospel. This is the part I love. It's easy, especially as a missionary to think that as I teach the gospel I'm serving others. Boom check off both the boxes. Let's go get some tacos al pastor and maybe some chicharones.

Although its kind of true in a sense. It shouldn't be the primary goal for serving others. In the field, having a companion, teaching people and helping them find a testimony of their own. It brings a new aspect to learning how to serve someone. It means my time doesn't exist anymore. My "relax time after a hard day" or my "lunch time" doesn't matter because we have investigators that need help or don't understand some part of the gospel or there's a member who needs a priesthood blessing or some member that just needs someone to talk because she's like 103 and nobody lives at her house. and honestly it sounds a little sad, that I don't have me time, but in all reality I haven't been more happy and filled with love like I am serving these wonderful people of Mexico.

Matthew 16:25 I love this place and the spirit I feel because of this marvelous work. I love you all and hope everything is well. I didn't get killed by the hurricane as its not even close to me. This week show your love to someone new by serving them beyond what you want to do. It'll be worth it I promise!


Elder Babcock

Found my favorite snack!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The rains came down and the floods came up

Well this week has been a great one! It rained pretty much every day, all day, and unlike the U.S. where all the water has places to go like gutters and drains, here it's more like the water goes where it wants to go. So most of the sidewalks and roads are flooded and it's difficult to get around. Oh and you get soaked no matter how many things you have to keep the water away.

But I want to talk about this last P-day and the hike we went for (Elder D. and me, that is.) The two gringos on an adventure to climb a mountain. It started early early, like almost 6 in the morning. We headed out the house and to a small dirt road by this little colonia named Jardines. On the way we got harassed by the street perros that I have come to hate. Dogs at home are nice and typically friendly, but all the dogs here are ratty and just plain mean. But anyways we made it to the small path we were going to take up the mountain. We had to maneuver through some barbed wire but after that it was almost smooth sailing. The path went up about 2/3 of the mountain and just as it was about to end we hit a road block...a herd of cows. Okay not just cows, bulls too. There were probably 10 total and the bulls had massive horns. Now as we walked closer the bulls did nothing, just stared at us. So instead of testing fate and trying to pass we took the route through the jungle to hack our way through and not mess with the scary cows. About two hours into the hike we were almost there. The path had stopped and all that was left was a small hill and then we would be there. The view from the top was supposed to look over all of Coatzintla, my area, Camineros, Olmecas, Quirasco, Troncones, and the division by Poza Rica; and then the area of elder D., Jardines, Morales, Kawatzin, Casas Geo, and some other small pueblos that I don't know the name of. But once we got to the top, there was no clear spot, only bushes that were a good 8 or so feet high. From the back, the view away from the city was awesome and I was totally fine with that. I tried to tell Elder D., oh well this was fun and the view of the back was awesome. but Elder D. loves his mountains and his views, so he hacked through the bushes and about thirty minutes later we had a small little view. A little more time and we could see my area. A little more and we saw parts of his.

Now I learned a pretty cool lesson from Elder D. Although he had lots of pesky weeds and bushes to deal with he knew what his goal was and he wasn't going to stop until he got there. Now sadly for me, I was content with the "half way" goal. The view was great. But through our extra efforts and determination we had an even better view just around the corner, just out of sight from where we were. The view we ended with was a thousand times better than what I had been content with. On the way down the hill we had encounters with the cows again and with some ticks. I hate ticks.

Hope everyone is doing well and is safe back home in the states. It's too bad the U.S. lost to Mexico last week because of that I had to eat two whole habeneros and buy some jovenes Coca-Cola. Much love and keep progressing!

Elder Babcock

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The blessings of patience

This week was great (: Going into the week I knew that this Sunday would be when I found out about "cambios" (transfers) and also if I left the area or not. I didn't want to leave my area as I have come to know that he ward in Coatzintla is the ward with the most "mamas de galletas"... that's families that give you Coca-Cola or food all the time and will ask you to come teach family home evening or just stop and share a scripture for some food. But I'm super happy because I found out I will not be leaving. Our area will be the same and my comp Elder Reyes will stay with me. I'm soo pumped (:

Along with that I had a really cool experience with patience this week. There's this really cool "abuelita". She has family that are recent converts but she never gave much thought to baptism. For almost 3 months the missionaries have been teaching her. And when I got to the area Elder Reyes told me that we can go teach every now and then but that she wasn't interested. She doesn't progress and never gives anything a try. She's stuck in her ways and won't change. Well after a meeting with my mission president a while ago he read D & C 18.10.... I'm pretty sure I already talked about this scripture but its just an amazing scripture... anyway! Ever since this meeting I couldn't help but think we should teach her more. She's old. She doesn't work. Her family is always gone. She really doesn't have many people in her life. Well we finally started to go more. And guess what? She started to pray more. And then read the Book of Mormon. And then boom she was baptized this week! She shared with us that she had never wanted to be baptized because the missionaries were always just people trying to convert her. They didn't want to be friends or love her. Just as they say in the mission "numbers numbers numbers" but she shared that we had showed her that we actually cared and that through her tough times and not wanting to changed we still came and still showed her love and didn't just say be baptized. I know this was huge for me as the Lord has a time for everyone. And that we shouldn't focus on now now now now now. But on what's ahead. And when times are tough, or you can't see why you're putting in effort and receiving nothing back. Just know it'll all be worth it in the end. She is a very serious old lady. But Sunday she cried like a little baby and that touched my heart like nothing else.

I love this work and the amazing things I get to be a part of. Be patient and everything will be all right.


Elder Babcock

Monday, October 5, 2015

Answers to prayers

This week was bound to be a good one. I went in with a lot of specific questions and I knew this was the week of answers. Of the questions, the first couple were answered in only a few days, and those were really cool experiences and it all was through specific prayers. Our MTC Pres. talked a lot about these. Just ask for something when you need help or an answer and then ask specifically for something to happen. Now you can't ask for like a million dollars.. come on stop being silly. But you can ask for certain things you have questions about and I testify that you can be given what you're missing through specific prayers and they really are a cool thing to have in your life.

The next part of the week was a conference with my mission president with all the other newbies, and that was really cool as well. He gave this awesome quote and I don't know if it was his words or someone else's, but it said "salir del barco y hacer algo imposible" basically it's saying get out the comfort zone. The norm. As in one of the talks don't be a Sunday Mormon. Do something crazy and out of the norm and I know it will be a miracle in small or big ways. Because in the field there's some of this everyday.

Now as for conference I'm upset... it was all in Spanish and no entiendo EspaƱol.... entonces I didn't really get much and I'll have to wait for the Liahona to enjoy all of it. But none the less the spirit I felt was amazing. Just being in the mission for a short 2 months I already have gained a stronger testimony of this work. How? The scriptures and the feelings I receive during lessons. 1) I barely understand the language. 2) I barely speak the language. However! 3) I always feel the spirit as if it were all in English. I know this gospel has no specific language and that I love the peace and joy this gospel brings to my life. I love you all and I'd challenge you to try a specific prayer. No half way do it. Do it sincerely. And I know it'll be an awesome experience (:


Elder Babcock