Monday, December 28, 2015

First Christmas in Mexico

Well Christmas has passed, and it's almost the new year!!! This week I had the awesome chance to talk to the family through Skype and well it was amazing. I love my family so much and they are such a great example to me. It was funny to speak a little Spanish and well just see the snow.. you guys are lucky as it's like 90s every day here... It's only fun for a while and then you're sweating and yeah it gets old super fast... BUT we had some fun times this week I would like to talk about.

I have recovered from the chingunkuya and I feel great! As of right now we have people planned for this week for a baptism. It didn't fall through this last week as the family of the girl we are baptizing couldn't go so we waited a week. We also had a little branch Christmas party which was super fun. We had a little devotional where I was able to talk a little (woot woot) Spanish powers. Afterward we had some games and lots and lots of food! I've come to love this area so much and with changes this coming Sunday I don't wanna leave. There aren't many members and it's in the middle of nowhere. But the Spirit is the same and the people are awesome (:

To end this week we went to a city called Coyutla. It's a lot bigger than Espinal but it only has like 2 active members. It's an hour away from Espinal and it's part of our branch. Well this Sunday we went out there to give a blessing to an hermana that has been sick for 4 months... we went out with the branch president and his wife to meet her and then give the blessing. It's crazy how optimistic this woman was. After the blessing she only said this. "I was reading in the Ensign the other day and well there was a quote that said we can't change our circumstances but we can change how we view them and we can change our attitude about them." Wow how powerful it was to hear an hermana that has been sick in bed for 4 months and yet she still is looking for the good in life. So that will be my invitation for this week's letter. Is look for the good in every situation. Whether we like what happens or not we can learn and grow for the better.

I love you all and hope you had a safe Christmas and are going to have lots of fun for the new years! To end the letter, here in Mexico everyone does fireworks and well you know we got some to celebrate and here they are soo much more fun and super cheap. Love you all and keep reading and praying! Blessings are always waiting!


Elder Babcock

This river runs through Espinal

Espinal from up on the hill

El Chancho

Pozole, my favorite dish in Mexico

Christmas hijinks with the comp

The view of the Christmas Skype from home

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Well yeah it was time sadly. I got chikungunya this past week and well currently still am suffering from it. For those of you who don't know what it is its a virus passed by mosquitoes and well it [stinks]. It starts by pain in the joints. And then that goes to the bones to the point where you can't move out of your bed. You also get these super nasty red bumps on your arms that itch and burn when they get wet.... so no showering (ew ew ew) and they don't go away very soon... and then afterwards you have a wicked headache and are always dizzy and it's hard to walk. Normally people can't leave their beds for two or three weeks and even then a month or so to come back to normal. yeah this is the thing i got. HOWEVER. I feel extremely blessed. Although yeah it [stunk] and yeah for a day and a half I couldn't leave my bed due to the pain of my bones. I'm already feeling better only 5 days after the initial pain and even then I was able to be out of the bed and working most of the days. Chikungunya va que huya.

Anyway I'm better and I have something awesome to say. IT'S CHRISTMAS in 90° weather woooo. It's like the movie Swiss Family Robinson with lights on palm trees and super tropical. It's pretty sweet. It's funny how the tradition here in my area for this time of the year is to make fruit punch. But real fruit punch with real fruits and using some that I had never known existed before. Like guanabana. Like what the [heck] is that? Nevertheless it's super yummy.

Anyway in this time gifts and music and snow.... (not for me) there's something really important about his time of the year. It's the new video that the church has and also the new cards we hand out in Mexico. In Spanish it;s ha nacido un Salvador... a Savior is born. Now we had a Christmas conference a last week and in this conference we had to give a small talk in our second language about this. Que regalo le dare a Cristo este navidad? What gift am I going to give to Chirst this Christmas. And that got me thinking. It's easy to give things to people who we live with, live by, even people far away in different countries. But how many of us give gifts to Christ during this time that we celebrate his birth? I'd like to leave this question for each and everyone of you. What are you going to do this Christmas or give this Christmas for Christ. We can never repay or give back all that He has done for us. It's impossible. But every little thing we give in turn makes us better people. It's kinda like the gift that keeps on giving (; like when you buy a bunch of candies for a party and then each a bunch hahaha not really (;

Anyway I love you all and spread the joy of Christmas and the birth of our Savior with everyone during this week (: I love and miss you all and expect a picture of my head in a computer screen with the fam on the 25th.


Elder Babcock

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas conference in Poza Rica

This week was amazing. Every week out here just seems to get better and better and you don't think it can top the last week and them boom! it happens. This week we had two awesome things, the first was the Christmas conference in Poza Rica (my old stomping grounds) with the president and another zone close by. The second part was getting to watch the cultural activity and then the dedication of the temple in Tijuana. The conference was really good and we talked a lot about obedience (as that's the first law of everything) and also about teaching with power and authority and by way of the Spirit, which is key in teaching for someone to be converted to the gospel and not just to the two young missionaries in their house. Afterwards we had some piƱatas in the back and we busted the first one open and yes there was candy, but also like 200 pesos, and the missionaries where fighting over the pesitos and yeah it was super funny to watch. The second only had candy so it wasn't as fun :)

We recently found a lot of new people to teach and also have 4 people planned for baptism on the 27th. We are pushing for one of them to be baptized this coming Sunday but you know sometimes they just aren't ready and we need to help them out a little more. I honestly love helping the people here in Espinal, not just with the lessons and teachings but we also have been giving lots and lots of service lately and well through that we have received lots of new investigators.

But the thing I loved the most this week has to the be the dedication of the temple in Tijuana. Oh my gosh this temple is so beautiful and the three sessions were absolutely amazing. The spirit I felt in the stake center just watching the dedication was so strong and I just love the mission and all the awesome perks of being in Mexico like new temples (; The two apostles were Elder Dallin H. Oaks and President Dieter F Ucthdorf. The best part is they don't speak Spanish so they spoke in English and then someone translated. They both talked a lot about the joy that temples bring to our lives and how we should go often. It made me think back to my first time through the temple and being in the celestial room with my family the joy and peace I felt that day. I love and miss the temple so much. I would encourage all of you to go more often. It's the house of the Lord and what better place to feel closer to our Lord and Savior then in his house? They also talked about something else that I loved. That temples don't just bless our lives. But when we bring family names to temple we are blessing their lives too. Go to the temple this week! I love you all and I hope you all are enjoying the snow as its like 90s everyday here still.


Elder Babcock

Monday, December 7, 2015

The importance of parents

What? A week has already passed by like time needs to slow down a little (; How's it going in the states? Here it FINALLY is starting to get cold. And well although it's not super cold, none of the houses have heaters so it's the same temp outside and inside. No more fans going on during the night. As for the work I love my new area, my comp, the people and the food. We recently found quite a few families and have started to teach them. One of them is an older couple who can't read. A grandma who is 103. Yikes! And then some other younger kids. And well it's funny how it doesn't matter who the family is there's people everywhere who just want to hear the gospel. The old grandma always cries during lessons and always says she can feel something different with us there. But that's all from my companion as he is a super good teacher. For only a little time in the mission he is a super good missionary and well we are learning together here.

Quickly explaining about today we went to these waterfalls in this town called Zozocolco. Yeah I know I couldn't say it at first either. But to get there we had to to go to another town called Coxquihui. (Kush-Kiwi) yeah I know it's pronounced funny. But it was super cool and super beautiful on the way there. Espinal is really in the middle of nowhere and for that the land is amazing and green everywhere. But yeah I'm putting some pictures of that in the email. Also quick note we almost got attacked by cows again. I don't know why but they don't like gringos.

Anyway what I wanted to talk about is something I was reading in my patriarchal blessing this week. I normally read it every morning or so because well it's amazing but this past week one part has been hitting me harder than normal. I'm going to quote it cause it's super short and well not very personal. It's talking about my family in this part "...they have taught you the gospel and blessed your life greatly. You have been blessed to be born to noble parents who have taught you about Jesus Christ through word and deed." And well this speaks for itself. My family and parents are awesome and have taught me so much. I'm who I am because of them and I'll never be able to thank them enough for that. But also I wanna talk to all the parents who might read this. Or maybe to the kids who need to know how blessed they are to have their parents. Parents play a HUGE role in our lives. One of our first teachers and one of our closest friends from start to finish.

This week I was reading my blessing and couldn't help but think about the prophets of the scriptures. How many of them talked about their parents, especially the blessings they had received through them. I have a couple examples (sorry this letter is going to be little longer than normal). The first is Nephi. He's an amazing example. First verse first chapter of the Book of Mormon. Who does he talk about? His parents. And the example that they had been. Nephi is an amazing example of love and obedience and well I'm sure a lot of that came from his parents. Next is Samuel the prophet from the Old Testament. More talking about his birth. I'm mad because I wrote a quote in my Bible but didn't write by whom in seminary waaaay back in sophomore year. It said "if I was asked to name the world's greatest need, wise mothers and exemplary fathers." For you people reading how important were/are your parents? We have all been blessed to have the parents we have. The list goes on and a on. The 2000 Stripling warriors, the sons of king Benjamin, Moroni, the sons of Alma, Enos. All completed amazing tasks and well are part of the scriptures for us to learn. And where did their examples start? Their parents. (I'm going to put the list of scriptures below for anyone who wants to read).

I'm so thankful for the noble, as my blessing puts it, parents I was given. They have taught me everything and then some. I miss them dearly and I would maybe give an invitation to all of you to maybe look at how awesome your parents are. They have done a lot, sacrificed a ton, I know we can all learn all learn a lot from our parents. Sorry for the ramble I just well love my parents and am so thankful for them. Stay safe and love your parents cause we only have this life and then all eternity with them (;


Elder Babcock

scriptures list: 1 Nephi 1:1, Enos 1:4, Mosiah 1, Alma 56 47-48, Moroni 7,8,9, Alma 36,37,38,39,40,41,42, 1 Samuel 1.