Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Christmas blessing

Well this truly has been a defining week here in Xalapa. Lots of things happened, good and bad, and we grow from them both. Some of the great things that happened were Christmas, our yearly conference with the mission president and his wife, while cleaning the baptismal font we found a chicken in the church, a baptism and confirmation, a priesthood ordination, some really good food, and some special changes in the mission!

As sad as it is my time as secretary is coming to an end. Another missionary is coming tomorrow and I'll start to train him in the ways of the secregatos HAHA. I have truly loved every second here and learned so so much. The greatest blessing about being here was learning from my mission president. Until I came here I never really knew him  that well. It's a blessing to be so close to him and get to hear his counsel and wisdom at times when it's more than needed. I know he's called of God, and here in this mission to help me for the short five-ish months I've been here.

I've included a picture of me with the family as we had our Christmas Skype call and it was amazing. I love my family and when the time comes I'll be more than happy to see them.

We had our baptism!!! This story was really great as it lead to some of the most amazing experiences I have had as a missionary. It starts when I was with Elder Ix. We were one day in this store called OXXO (its like a Maverick but without gasoline). We had no idea of what to do when randomly a lady enters the store with her daughter and says hermanos, I want you to come teach my daughter, she's not baptized! Naturally it's a nice little gift as missionaries to find families who aren't all members. We tried to pass by but for one thing or another it never worked out to find them. Fast forward three weeks and Elder Silverio and myself are lost in our area. A place I had never been to before and we didn't know what to do. We thought about praying. Finishing the prayer we went to the first house we saw and knocked on the door. Who would have thought it would be the sister! She told us she had been waiting for us and her daughter wanted to be baptized. Fast forward 5 weeks and lots of lessons with the family and we show up to the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, and a wonderful baptism. Our bishop was invited to baptize her and her brother also turned 12 that same day. Christmas morning in the church services she was confirmed and after the services her older brother asked if I would give him the priesthood.

Later to talk with my family for a little while. WHAT A BLESSING AND WHAT AN AMAZING CHRISTMAS! I didn't get a new iPhone or some Xbox or clothes, but this has seriously been the best Christmas. I love this work. I know God answers our prayers. Maybe we were thinking of a family of 5 or 6 but God gave us a different answer. A mom who was waiting for the missionaries to bring her and her family back to church. I LOVE YOU ALL!! Happy New Year!! See you all soon (; #junio2017

Elder Babcock





Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Another great week and more great experiences!! This week, we were able to spend lots of time with a new family we found. THEY ARE SO AWESOME!!! They all came to church this last week and are looking at a baptism on the 21st of January! Apart from that some of our older investigators who had stopped coming to church came too! We also are going to have a baptism on Saturday! I'm super excited for this coming week!! AND IT'S CHRISTMAS!!

Something that I have been thinking about a lot during this time is about people who need our love during this time of the year. Most of us go with our families and spend time with our loved ones while others maybe cannot be with theirs for many reasons. During this time of the year, we should all share and spread the love of our Heavenly Father with everyone. I'm sure we all have friends and family who might spend these days alone. Send a message, send a letter, give them a call. Let them know you care and help them feel the Savior's love and understand the purpose of Christmas.

I love and miss you all so much and hope you have a great Christmas!! Christ is the real gift, and we should share him with each and everyone we know. HE LIVES AND HE LOVES ALL OF US!

Elder Babcock

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Leaving our comfort zones

Another great week here in Xalapa, Mexico. This is the week of changes and I'm sure lots of missionaries are happy and many are not. Sometimes as a missionary you have your companions that you like and get along with better than others. At times you have more success with one than with another. It's sad when your favorite comp has to leave, but this is something that I have learned happens in our lives outside of the mission too. We should leave our comfort zones to learn from others and grow as a person. When everything is all and well we enjoy this life but we don't really learn much when there isn't affliction. It's a necessary part of this life that allows us to become better, little by little more like our Heavenly Father who is perfect. Take the changes in your life as a blessing and always look for the good in every situation and you will be surprised how much you will learn. It's not easy, but living the gospel of Jesus Christ never has been easy.

We had a lesson this past week with a family. We were teaching them about Christ and his perfect example, which includes partaking of the "bitter cup" even when we don't want to. I'm not sure if I've shared this on an email before but a sister in my ward said once, "it's hard to drink the bitter cup and not become bitter." Take what comes and learn from it. And always be happy knowing that Christ died for our sins and allows us to become better every day.

I love you all and miss you all tons!!! Have a great week and keep with the LIGHT the WORLD initiative!!! Service allows us to know and understand more our neighbor through Christ's eyes. Press forward and know that we are in the true church, the only church with Gods divine authority! Serve someone new this week and get out of your comfort zone!

Love,

Elder Babcock

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Light the World Part 2

First week in December and it's already passing by really fast. During the Light the World movement we need to take advantage of EVERY moment. In the spirit of Christmas we, as members of the church, as well as non-members of the church, can share the light of Christ with others. Every single one of us has a special gift or attribute of Christ that is to be shared and grown. Service can be given in many, many ways. Search your way to share your gift with another person and help them to feel the love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.

As missionaries we try to help people feel this love, and when they do feel it, it changes their whole life. Take part in missionary work and serve someone this week and help them feel this pure love. We have helped in many service projects this past week, moving members from houses, taking food to those who don't have it, cleaning different parts of the community with members and writing letters to missionaries and less active members. I can truly feel the spirit of Christmas in this new initiative. Don't let it pass without feeling it too!!

I love you all!

Elder Babcock


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Light the world

What another quick week and here we are again in the ciber writing another email. Missionary life is just a weekly cycle with small 6-week breaks and changes. It's so simple but such an amazing experience. I seriously love every second of it. The bad. The good. The kinda bad. The kinda good. All experiences and afflictions help us become better people and better missionaries in my case!! Learn from mistakes and keep repenting!! CHANGE IS NECESSARY!

There is a scripture I read today in the morning and I love it: "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (1 Nephi 20:10). We become refined through our experiences and then our decisions to change or keep being the same. Become better and learning shapes us to be more like our Heavenly Father. It's difficult to take the struggles and hard times as a time to learn. But that's where our faith and hope comes in. Knowing that whatever comes and happens everything will be okay.

Here in the offices life is amazing and I am so grateful for the chance I have to get to know my mission president a little more each day. He's an amazing leader and loves this work. Today we went to Walmart to get some food and then relax since this past week was SUPER busy. Feels good to relax on a P-day. The church started a new initiative for December: LIGHT THE WORLD! (Ilumina el Mundo) I really enjoyed the video and sharing it with members and non members here. It's an amazing way to contact people in the street. Share the video with all your loved ones and watch the daily videos starting December first!!! Also don't forget to do some service that day too. We have planned to make some food and go hand it out at one of the local hospitals as a ward! Do some good and LIGHT THE WORLD!! I love you all and miss you dearly!!

Elder Babcock

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Escundriñar las escrituras

This week I started something new. Apart of my normal studies I'm reading the Book of Mormon again, but instead of finishing as fast as I can, I'm reading it one chapter a day, and writing my thoughts and feelings about the verses and what I'm learning. I love the change it's brought to the Book of Mormon. It's now much more than reading. The word in Spanish is "escundriñar." It's like study and ponder.

This Sunday all of Mexico had a special conference where Elders Robert D. Hales and Russell M. Nelson talked to us about the commandments and how it's important live all of them. Elder Nelson spoke Spanish and it was surprising to hear his normal voice in a different language. Maybe that's how I sound to the people here hahaha. What I did love was how they talked about the progression of the church here in Mexico. They talked about the long time it took to start building temples and schools of the church. And then to the MTC in Mexico City and now 13 temples. Something special about my mission is that I have come to completely love the people here. I love love these people. They are so special and loving.

Sorry for the short letter as we have a lesson in like 10 minutes. I love you all and keep reading the Book of Mormon!!! Read it slow and ponder what the verses mean to you. LOVE YOU TONS!!!

Elder Babcock




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Service

What a great week. It's seriously hard to remember everything that happened and all the visits and lessons we did. But what I haven't forgotten is the love and joy I feel while sharing this wonderful gospel. Especially with my new companion Elder Silverio. He's just an amazing guy all around. I feel like this is going to be a great couple of months together. He's from Guatemala and doesn't eat spicy food (which is funny 'cause none of my comps eat spicy food.)

PERO, this Sunday in our gospel principles class we talked about service. Why it's important and how it blesses our lives. I love being in classes when we can't finish the lesson because everyone is sharing experiences and asking questions. Honestly as a missionary when your investigators talk lots in church and talk with members it's awesome. Not sure how many investigators really go to church in Utah, but in other places I'm sure new people show up every couple of weeks.

I'd just like to invite you all to search for new people in church and make new friends. Who knows, maybe they have been feeling uncomfortable at church and you going to talk to them was the answer to their prayer? Think about it. I love you all and miss you tons! Short letter because well life is too good to rant!

Elder Babcock


Sunday, November 6, 2016

An amazing week

Well this was quite an amazing week. Lots of really spiritual experiences and just a wonderful week in general. Some of the small highlights were:

- My new companion Elder Silverio came this past week as he had to learn to do elder Ix's old job.
-We found lots of new people to teach.
-WE BAPTIZED!!
-Did some service with an older couple in the ward.
-GOT MY PACKAGE FROM HOME. FLAMING HOT CHEETOS NEVER TASTED SOOO GOOD!
-Had some truly special moments while in lessons.
-Had lots of people come to church that want to be baptized!

Of all the points I would just like to talk a little about one experience I had while teaching a lesson as well as the story of our baptismal service this week! The baptism was a young boy named Amaury. He's only 9 years old but he had such a desire to get baptized. His family, consisting of his mom and dad, his older brother and his grandma were all members except the grandma. We started to visit them right when I first showed up. That was almost 3 months ago! Little by little we taught and encouraged them to read the Book of Mormon as a family and pray together. To do the small things as a FAMILY.

At first they came once a month, then twice, and now they come every week. It's so great to see this entire family sitting on the row together, smiling and laughing. We had the goal that the father would be able to baptize his son. We had to work with the bishop but everything worked out perfect and last night the family was together for the baptism of little Amaury. Truly a special experience.

About three weeks ago elder Ix and myself were leaving the house of Amaury when elder Ix stopped to talk to a young man in the street. His name is Joar and was interested in us coming to visit him. For days we passed but never was home until one day, this week, we found him. He invited us in and we started to get to know him and share what it is that we do as missionaries. He began to share a personal experience, in the middle I felt prompted to share the story of the Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah. After he finished the story I pulled out the little booklet of paintings of the church and opened it to that page and we started to talk about this story. He was laughing in between sentences and after we had finished he asked if we had planned to share this story beforehand. He said this was the story closest to what he felt he was living in right now. He has lots of problems and would always say why would God answer me? I'm not worthy of it. Why would he want to change me?? He went with us to church and is now working and progressing to be baptized in the coming month!

I LOVE THIS WORK! there are people waiting to hear the stories of the Book of Mormon and connect them to their lives. I know its the strongest tool we have as missionaries and as members of the Church of Jesus Christ! It is another testimony of Christ's ministry. Read it, ponder it, love it!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Babcock




Monday, October 31, 2016

New companion

Well this week was FULL of things to do. From one place to another we barely had time to do many visits. This is when the secretary assignment becomes a little difficult. BUT we had lots of people in church this week and we are teaching lots of progressing investigators.

We received the call that Elder Ix will be leaving. We don't know where but my next companion is named Elder Silverio. He's from Guatemala. He is currently in Coatzintla! My old home. He will be here tomorrow morning and by next week elder Ix will be gone. It's really sad when you have to change companions but we should always look for the good and not the bad right? My new companion only has 4 months in the mission. I have almost 4x his time in the mission! Time flies when you're having fun.

This past week we talked a lot about temples. Every time we talk about temples here everyone asks me how it was to have tons of temples close by. I think that's something I would encourage each and every one of you at home is to GO TO THE TEMPLE!! You never know when you'll be far away and won't have the commodity of having a temple so close to home. Go and enjoy the temple!!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!! New missionaries come this next Monday! The weeks keep flying by!

Elder Babcock



Monday, October 24, 2016

Busy

Well it was another week. Not much happened! (and by not much I mean 7 days of being so busy you come home late, plan, and then just go to sleep, and then repeat). We have seen some amazing miracles in our area, some with new people we are teaching and other people who have received an answer that they should go to church and keep reading the Book of Mormon. This has been a great week in the sense that we worked so hard, did lots of visits with members and are trying to help out a few less active families. Even though we are so busy and almost don't have time to do anything I'm happy. Very very very happy (: I know this work is true and I know the Savior lives and guides his church. I love you all and hope you have a great week (;

Elder Babcock

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Share the gospel

Well this was a really different week. Coming right from general conference we had our stake conference. We were also with two other missionaries since Wednesday! This week we had some amazing lessons and found some really good new investigators.

Just last night we had a family home evening with our recent convert and her neighbors who we just recently started to visit. We had never been able to talk to the dad as he is always working and busy. The mom had accepted to learn more and said she would read the Book of Mormon. During our visits the family would always say that the dad would not accept this message, that he wouldn't change. When we invited him to the FHE it was 7 at night and we had planned to start at 7:30. Amazingly he and his family showed up. We talked and ate and got to know them and their beliefs. We watched the movie, Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration with them. As the movie started we could feel the spirit so strong. By the end of the movie the father and his wife were in tears. They said we need to read the Book of Mormon because we want to know if it's true. They want to learn more and the father has accepted a baptismal date.

This gospel is amazing and perfect. It can and will change lives. Something so amazing should be shared! I would encourage each and every one of you at home to try to share the gospel in one way or another. Someone who you think isn't close to being ready might be like this father and the second he feels the spirit he understands why the message we share is so important. George Albert Smith said that our desire to share the gospel shows our individual conversion as a person. We know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and only through the ordinances of this church allows us to return to our Heavenly Fathers presence. SHARE IT!!!

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Babcock




Tuesday, October 4, 2016

General Conference

Well well well, it's been another week and Xalapa is just as cold and rainy as the last week. The best part of this last week was the amazing General Conference that we had!!! This was the first time in my mission that I was able to watch in English. WHAT A BLESSING. There are many new missionaries, like I was in Coatzintla, who do not understand anything and sadly don't get that much out of conference. I spent the two days with my other gringo buddies, Elder Howell who is from Idaho, Elder Bowen, the son of Andy Oblad, and Elder Dahl, also from Idaho. And also my companion who is Yucateco but speaks better English then I do!!

I loved the messages and how they can apply to our lives. I think one of my favorite talks was from Dallin H. Oaks. He said two things that I LOVE and they go hand in hand. The first was, "all efforts begin with desire." The other was, "the people will learn when they are ready to learn, not when we are ready to teach them." Maybe I really liked these two quotes because its applies a LOT to missionary work. You can really tell if someone is interested in hearing and reading and keeping commitments like going to church and such if they put in the EFFORT. That's when you know they have the desire. And if they don't have the desire, they won't put in the effort and they won't learn. Because we can't teach them when we are ready for new investigators. Only when they are ready to learn and are searching the truths for themselves is when we can really teach them.

I love this place and I love the work!! I love finding the people who really want to learn and put in this effort. Who show not only to us as missionaries but our Heavenly Father that they are ready to make a change in their lives. I love the spirit of missionary work especially with ward members. Please please please contact the missionaries in your ward and go visit with them. Not only will you feel good but the missionaries love it when ward members WANT to go with them! I love you all and hope you are all having an awesome day! Hope you enjoyed General Conference!!!

Love,

Elder Babcock




Friday, September 30, 2016

The reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven

Well another week here in Xalapa has passed and it continues to rain and be perfect weather. I love Xalapa so much! Hopefully I can stay here until February or so but who knows! This past week was awesome as we have been finding lots of FAMILIES to teach. I love teaching families and helping them to be more united through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We had a sad moment yesterday as we received a text in the night that one of the ward missionaries passed away. He was such an amazing guy and always willing to give up his time to help us and visit with us. He passed away in his house. He only lives with his wife and she was far away when it happened. This morning we went to the church to see the family and spend some time with them. Going there I felt sad 'cause today is P-day! We should be buying stuff and not "wasting" time with members. But i couldn't have been more wrong. It was a beautiful service and I didn't want to leave to be honest. I love these people so much, and being with them in this hard time was a perfect way to spend my Monday!

I love love love some scriptures that elder Ix read at the service. it goes like this:
 2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

 3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

 4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.

 5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you maylay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.

 6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;

 7 And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand;

I love you all so much! Hope you have a safe week and enjoy conference this coming weekend!

Love,

Elder Babcock



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd

Well I'm writing on Saturday because the newbies are showing up on Monday and it's my job to help them out and make sure they can stay in the country. Not too much has happened this past week. With the 15th of September we had to be home by 7 p.m. Our ward mission leader brought us provolone and chicken sandwiches and hot dogs from Costco to eat and we had our little weekly chat about the ward. We also have been working with this awesome awesome lady named Mari (that's what people in Yucatan say. It means freak. Elder Ix is always laughing when we are there with her. She's getting baptized tomorrow!!! WOOOOOO! She's so great. Knows everything inside and out and really has a strong testimony. We are going have a special musical number for her and I'm hoping to get a video to send back home.

An elder lent me his ukulele and all my free time has been spent learning hymns. Tomorrow we also are going to have dinner with the assistants and the mission president and his wife. Who knows why but it's going to be a good time. The only thing I wanted to share that happened this week was during a study I did with Elder Ix. We have been switching off between English hymns and Spanish hymns every other day (for those who don't know elder Ix speaks awesome English) but he picked the English hymn #221 Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. Sadly I have forgotten almost all the English hymns, but i loved loved loved singing this hymn. I especially loved the last verse:
 
Green are the pastures inviting;
Sweet are the waters and still.
Lord, we will answer thee gladly,
"Yes, blessed Master, we will!
Make us thy true under-shepherds;
Give us a love that is deep.
Send us out into the desert,
Seeking thy wandering sheep."

It's amazing how many things you now notice as missionary work that before you hadn't even thought of it. I love being a missionary and although I can't save everyone I see, I'm more than happy knowing that some of the wandering sheep are being brought back to the fold. I love this work and I love you guys!!! Have a great week!!

Elder Babcock

video

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Reality of the mission

Another fast week. If only it could slow down just for a week or so. Gotta be honest we did a lot today and I'm burned out. Don't get mad 'cause the letter is gonna be short. This week we were spending all the office time preparing for changes and getting ready for the old missionaries to leave. It's really weird to watch new and old missionaries come and go. The champions are always so sad to leave. I completely understand why. The mission is a wonderful place to be during the ages of 18-26. Here in the mission you get to meet many members, and almost all of them talk about the missionaries that used to be in the ward, or about when they were missionaries. And for some reason we always talk about how you shouldn't go without the right reasons. You shouldn't go obligated or for any type of reward.

This past Sunday my companion and myself gave talks about missionary work and how it's blessed our lives. Verdaderamente amo trabajando en la viña del Señor. We also were so blessed to speak to the primary (who consists of only ten or so kids here) about what it's like to be a missionary. What's hard for us and what's easy. Most the kids asked if we missed our family, our pets, our friends, jobs, school, everything pretty much. And the answer to be honest is always yes. When I first left my house, the 22nd of July 2015, I knew I wanted to be a missionary. I had heard hundreds of stories from my own family, friends, members of my ward. I remember going to mutual activities where we had "missionary moments" in which a member would explain about his mission. It always made me super excited for the time to be a missionary myself.

When I first showed up I'll be honest it was difficult. Harder than anything I had ever done before. You don't speak the language, you don't know the lessons, you get sick from the food, you don't understand the money and what's cheap and what's expensive, you don't get along with your comp, etc, etc, etc. Lots and lots of new things to get used to. Almost every missionary can say at one moment or another they wanted to go back home. But I can seriously say it has been the most amazing decision I have ever made. I have truly come to love what I'm doing and love the sacrifices. I enjoy talking with random people about the gospel. Sharing how it's blessed my life even my family! I have loved loved loved all the studies we do as missionaries. I love to read the scriptures especially the Book of Mormon. I know it's true! It's the keystone to our religion and the way that people can find out for themselves that this IS the true church of Jesus Christ.

I love serving my Savior and I enjoy day by day becoming a better person. Precept by precept, line by line. I know this is the true church. I know you CANNOT find true in any other church. I know it. This is the only place which with authority can seal families forever. For all eternity. It's only possible in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love this church and I love each and every one of you!

Have a great week!! Enjoy the pictures of Naolinco and some other fun activities we did this week!!

Elder Babcock





Monday, September 5, 2016

Alma 5:62

Awesome week and some awesome new investigators! We recently found this older lady named Celia. Her daughter lives far away, BUT was recently baptized in the church. Within a week the name of Celia was in our referrals. We tried to visit lots of times but she was never home. Until one day we found her! And she opened up her door and said thank goodness you're here.. (obviously she spoke Spanish but it's basically what she said). We stayed more than an hour teaching the entire first lesson, about some commandments and finishing with a baptismal invitation. She told us after all the teachings that this is what she needs in her life. She accepted. This Sunday she was there 20 minutes early waiting for us. She told us that she hasn't had the desire to smoke, or drink alcohol, or drink coffee... (as she was consuming all of those things days before we showed up). She is so amazing. A perfect example of someone that the Lord has worked with to prepare her for us to come and teach. I love missionary work. I hope you all can find some way to be missionaries as each and every member of the church should be. Go out of your way to help someone feel the spirit and you will not regret it. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Babcock



This is the world's smallest Bible


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Amazing experiences in Xalapa

What a week! Had some amazing experiences that I will never forget. It was really slow in the middle of the week. We spend most day in the offices. BUT on Saturday we had a baptism as well as a ward activity. We had invited tons of investigators but weren't sure who would show up. The baptism we had was a young man by the name of Samuel. Yes that's right Samuel. (he's pretty cool) Anyway well one day they said hey Samuel isn't baptized you guys should teach him! And literally three weeks later we had the service! He's an awesome dude and he loves Harry Potter. Well the day came and we showed up to the baptism to find out that four investigators were there waiting! And then when we went to the activity after another two showed up!

It was such an amazing experience to have members talking and getting to know the people we are teaching. A couple we are teaching went out and started to dance and even played volleyball with us! Then on Sunday we went to church and hermana Guadalupe, our recent convert, was asked to share her testimony and experience getting to know the church. In short she's awesome and she cried a lot. She said that she has received her answer to the question if this is the true church and if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. She's sooo poderosa. We got talking with her afterwards and she said I hate that we can't hug you guys cause you have changed our lives.

I'll tell you what, I'm so happy to be here. Knowing I'm changing lives makes me wanna stay even longer. Who knows maybe I'll prolong my mission until the 22nd of August (; (my mom's gonna kill me for even suggesting that hahaha) I love this place and I love the people. I would recommend anyone to come serve a mission. It's life changing and what really is two years? It's nothing and it'll not only change your life but others as well.

To end we went to this place called Xico today for our P-day activity. SUPER huge waterfalls and lots of people who wanted me to buy their knick-knacks and patty-whacks. You'll probably see my UTAH flag picture #goutes don't have to be in Utah to represent hahaha love you guys tons and miss you guys more! have a great week!!!

Elder Babcock







Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The will of God

This week went by too fast. We have been getting super busy in the offices. End of the month and end of changes are when it's most crazy here. Poor Elder Ix is always busy. He's the financial secretary and has to deal with LOTS of stuff. He said he's ready to leave the offices hahahaha. I actually really love being in the offices. Although it's tough at times to be only allowed the afternoon to go teach people it really makes you prioritize your time and who you visit. We spent two days in immigration making sure our missionaries don't get deported.

We also did divisions and for those of you who know Andy Oblad from my ward, well I got to spend 24 hours with his son, Elder Bowen, who is an amazing dude. I got burned so bad while with him. #walkingfordays I got to meet his investigators and some new people. We were searching for a family (who we both think gave a fake address) and eventually contacted this one house. The husband and wife came out in Morelia jerseys (a soccer team in Mexico, close to where my brother served his mission). We got talking a little outside about the team and other things, like the Olympics. Everyone asks if I'm watching and I'm like no., and they say too bad 'cause the US is winning. Someone will have to tell me if that's true or not hahaha. But after a little while he invited us in the house and we talked a good thirty minutes. Just a normal first talk with him. By the end he had accepted our invitation to come to church and to be baptized.

That night we were watching some Mormon messages on our little DVD player that the mission gave us and one of them is called "The Will of God". I love love love this video and would recommend it to all of you at home. We thought of our experience earlier that day. That the reference we had looked awesome. A family that wanted to listen to us. And when we couldn't find it, I'll be honest we both got a little upset. Like we were trying so hard, contacting all the houses how is it that we couldn't find them. But that well maybe it wasn't the right time and God had different plans for us.

God has a plan for us as well as all of his children and knows the best times and ways for us to grow. I love this work!! This Monday I completed 13 months in the mission and the time is going way too fast. It seriously seems like in no time I'll be home. This time last year I was in my final week in the MTC. Crazy huh? I love you all and hope you all have an amazing week!!! 'Hold tight, knuckle white!' -Brother Lawrence

Love,

Elder Babcock







Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Short letter

HELLO! Another great week in Xalapa, Mexico and lots of more rain! This is my first week with Elder Ix and it's been a great time! Got to participate in the confirmation of Guadalupe and Michelle which seriously was the coolest thing ever! Gotta be honest but I have no idea what to write this week. This week has been awesome in that some of my older converts I found out went to the temple to do baptisms and that seriously made me so happy. I love this work and I love you guys!! Forgive me for the small letter!!! Enjoy this picture of a dog cleaning up after himself and a huge spider I killed with bug spray and fire!

Love,

Elder Babcock





Sunday, August 7, 2016

Watch out for Earl

Well another couple days have passed and I'm writing on Saturday! Because the new missionaries show up on Monday and well I have to help them out with all their paperwork. Gonna be a long Monday but today was an awesome P-day! We were able to go to this anthropology museum in Xalapa which I found out is like the second biggest in all of Mexico! Got to see tons of statues and paintings from the ancient people of the state of Veracruz. We got in for only 25 pesos as Elder Ix still had his student card and they let us in as students! This place was HUGE and we spent a good two hours there. We met TONS of people speaking English and actually found two families, one from Washington state and the other from Michigan who both served their missions here back 20 years. They said it's worth the sacrifice of time to come back after.

Other than that this week has gone by super fast as it's only Saturday. We had some really powerful lessons with one of our investigators who lives with a guy who is already married but waiting to get divorced. We talked with her about baptism, that they should wait until they get married to live together, even if it takes a long time. We were expecting a response like it's not possible but she said she's going to put her faith in the Lord and tell him he has to move out until they get married. She is such a poderosa investigator. Everyone thinks she's a member from her testimony. She told us she wants to stand up this week and bare her testimony! It's been a privilege to be a part the lessons and learn from her as well. Later today we are going to confirm the two baptisms it looks like we will have for tomorrow!! I'm super excited and I'll be sure to shoot some pics on Monday if we do have a baptism.

Not sure if you have heard but there's a tropical storm heading through Xalapa at the moment named "Earl". There has been lots of wind and rain but the WEATHER DEFENDER has kept me dry! hahaha but yeah everything is swell and perfect here! Getting ready for changes has been tough but I've come to love where I'm at. I don't think I've told the normal schedule we have, but it's normally Tuesday through Friday 10am to 2pm in the offices. then the food, and then we leave to work in the streets and visit our investigators. Only Saturday and Sundays we can work all day. Anyway I love you all and I'll send some pics on Monday!! Stay safe and I'll watch out for Earl.

Love,

Elder Babcock






Monday, August 1, 2016

The importance of sacrifice and service

What is up people!! This was another amazing week and some truly special! This was a great week in the mission and we had some perfect lessons. I want to start talking a little about this little family we found about two weeks ago. Actually they went to another ward for four weeks but we have been able to teach and get to know them as they live in our ward boundaries. It's Guadalupe and Michel. It's a mother and her young daughter, who looks 8 but actually is 12. THEY ARE SO AWESOME. Truly 100% chosen people in this time of their lives for the gospel. It has completely fortified my testimony that there are TONS of people waiting and ready to accept the gospel every day, they just cant find it!! Guadalupe is almost 50 and has been living alone for about five years. She has accepted the gospel and its teachings and boy is she one happy mom! We had a very special talk with them this last Sunday where we asked them about their personal and family prayers and reading the Book of Mormon, and she just started to cry. She told us that the other day we went to visit them, not to teach for too long just a little visit to see how they are and offer some service. She said after we left her daughter asked her, "mom have you felt the difference?" Guadalupe asked her the difference in what? Michel told her that she can feel a true difference in their house from before we started to visit them and now. Guadalupe told us that she too has felt this change and that it's all because of our visits as well as those of the members, and the prayers and scripture reading that they have started to do daily. She told us that in almost six months that nobody had come to visit them, and the fact that us and the members of the ward would be willing to sacrifice our time to visit her truly made and impact on her. that she wants to show that love to other people and help them find this truth as well.

I LOVE THIS WORK. IT'S TRUE AND IT'S WONDERFUL! My current companion if you all don't know is actually named Elder Grundvig, (I just found that out yesterday that elder Ix is in trio with us). I wanted to talk about how cool he is and the example he's given me. For those of you who don't know he's my first gringo companion! WHOOO and he's from Highland, Utah. He went to BYU for a year before the mission but I somehow have found a way to love him for what he's doing now and not his past mistakes (; that's a joke I love all BYU fans. Anyway after a good two weeks of being trained by Elder Grundvig I've learned about his qualities, his strengths and his weaknesses. I'd love to share one of his amazing strengths. He is very very very patient. In my two weeks here I've made LOTS of mistakes and put his patience to the test. However he has never been unwilling to help me or give up his time to help me out. He's an amazing example of what I want to be better at, showing love and being able to wait, while being completely content. I'm truly going to miss him as this coming Tuesday he will be leaving, but we already have plans for after the mission, some soccer, some games, and lots of Nintendo 64.

Anyway I love you all tons and I'm doing really great here! I love this place and I love my mission! Little by little I'm getting to know and love even more my mission president, President Greer and his wife and they are just amazing people. Stay true to the gospel and it will help you get through all your problems!

Love,

Elder Babcock

Elder Ix cut his hand so I used my medical assistant skills to patch him up

Pez altar

Which one is Carl and which one is Junior?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy Pioneer Day

HAPPY PIONEER DAY! This week I completed one year in the mission! This was an amazing week!! So much happened in so little time. Tuesday morning at 6:30 I was in the ADO bus station in Teziutlan and then two hours later I was in my new house with my new companions and already getting used to the life here in the offices. We normally spend the mornings in the offices. I seriously feel like we are in an LDS version of the show The Office as seriously every day is a blast.

In the offices we are five to seven people. Elder Grundvig (who is training me), Elder Ix (who will be my companion for the next little while) The Valeros (a missionary couple who love to buy us food), and sometimes President Greer and his wife (who rarely come as they go do visits with other missionaries during the mornings), and well myself. I can honestly say I really love being in this area and I thought I would miss a ton my old area but I'm already at home here! The members here are freaking amazing. The ward reminds me of my home ward in Utah, except that everyone speaks Spanish.

We have gone to visit with this awesome family who every girl in the family is named Bianca and every boy is named Willy. There's 5 girls and 3 boys. Wut? I'm always so lost taking with all of them. But they all are so different and it's always a blast spending time with their family. Another crazy thing that happened is there was a baptism for  a little girl in the ward. Naturally the dad invited all his family. We show up and guess who was there?? One of the hermanas and her family from San Juan!! Got to say my goodbye right there in my new area! hahaha The world keeps getting smaller and smaller.

There's so many cool things you can do here in Xalapa and I'm excited to be here for a little while. I hope everything is well back in the states. Here the weather is always good with rain in the afternoons and I've heard it'll never change. I love you all and miss you tons!! There's a hymn we sang the other day and I really love the lyrics. It's number 281. I love the last verse it says, "Help me find thy lambs who wander, help me bring them to thy keep. Teach me lord to be a shepherd, Father help me feed thy sheep."

Love,

Elder Babcock

Happy Pioneer Day



Out with the old, in with the new