Monday, January 25, 2016

6 months

What a fast week. I swear it was just Monday like yesterday and now it's Monday again. This week I hit 6 months in the mission. Yeah more than 1/4 of the way done. It's scary and well makes me want to work harder and do all that I can. People always have told me the time goes too fast and well I can now relate. The night that I hit 6 months my companion and I went outside and burned one of my ties and funny thing is the owner of the house came out too and bought us a Coke to celebrate. I love Mexico hahaha.

Anyway as for this week we taught lots of lessons and had a lot of new people we found. We spent this week in companion study doing little simulations, which at first I was like, serious, like this is kinda random and boring and idk... BUT during one of these my companion was acting as a person and I was trying to commit him to come to church this week. Messing around he threw in some crazy reasons as to why he couldn't come and truth is I had no idea how to answer him or commit him to come. Afterwards we talked about that and how we could commit a person like that... and you wouldn't believe it. That day literally four hours or so after we met a new guy on the street. We talked with him for a little and he accepted to hear us for a little. For every first lesson we talk about church and why we should go and then ask them to come to church. And his reasons why he couldn't come were WORD FOR WORD what my companion had said...and with that we were able to talk and he eventually said yes he wanted to go. He showed up to church before we did and later told us he loved it and can't wait for next week.

This was an amazing experience for me and I just love the things I can learn from my companion. Or more than that what you can learn when you study with someone. With that my invitation for you guys is to maybe read a scripture or a talk with someone in your family. Or do a family home evening and see what you can learn when it's not just your mind talking but others too. Revelation can come to us through others just as well as through ourselves and I have learned that more than just once here on the mission. I love you guys and enjoy the cold as it's hot again down here!!


Elder Babcock

Monday, January 18, 2016


Well my birthday was this week and in Mexico they do birthdays right! It started when we were talking with a member Thursday night about a food we could eat for my birthday. I asked about turkey..they call it guajolote here. They said you have to buy the whole bird and kill it and then serve it in mole. Soo....with my birthday money from my family I bought a guajolote!!! He was a beautiful bird and pretty big for his age (only one year old). Anyway this bad boy was quite a beast and it weighed like 10 kilos. That's like 22 pounds I think. But yeah so we went to this little pueblo to buy my guajolote and nobody has a car so we had to haul the thing in a taxi like 10 minutes and I'm pretty sure it pooped on my companion hahahaha. Anyway we killed it and cooked it up in mole and ate it together with this family. The leg was too big to fit on the plate. I was also given a cake from the branch president and his wife and well we went to his house for his birthday (the 12th of January) and I smashed his face in the he had to get revenge and do me the favor. Cake in my nose for like 3 days was not fun.

This week was awesome and I really love the mission. All the awesome experiences I wouldn't trade for anything. Something really cool that happened this week was we were able to teach these two older people. I think I wrote about them before but I don't remember. They can't read but we are teaching them and they really really want to be baptized. Only thing is they have to be married first... They were missing lots of paperwork and it seemed like it would take another three or four months to get it all.. Well we went to teach them one night and they told us they had been talking and that they really want to be baptized. That they had been listening to their Book of Mormon on tape one night and they both began to cry. They new this was true and that they needed to be baptized. I don't know how it happened but some miracle of their papers and we pretty much have them all in. One of the papers from Xalapa came in two days. Normally it's waiting almost a month for this paper. We have a plan to get them married in the next week or so and them a baptism date for the 7th. It's amazing to see that these people really have changed and want to follow Christ's example, and for some reason everything is coming together to make that happen. I know this is blessing for this family.

Also, I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week, I was reading and studying about Lehi´s vision and it really made me think. Where would I be in this vision? Would I be holding tight to the iron rod? Would I be in the great and spacious building? Would I be partaking of the fruit? (sorry I'm reading in Spanish so I'm trying to remember all the stuff in English). I know it's easy to fall away, and see the ´happiness´ of the world and want to follow. But I know that true happiness only comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ and living the principles of his church. He loves us and is always there for us when we do fall away. For that he suffered for each one of us. so that there is a way to leave the dreary wasteland and come back to the straight and narrow. I know this is the true church. I know that our loving Heavenly Father answers our prayers and that he is always there for us. I know that Christ is my Savior, that he died for me. That he made it possible to live for all eternity with my family. Stay safe everyone and I hope you are enjoying the snow!


Elder Babcock



Monday, January 11, 2016

Working with the members

Yet another week has gone by and I feel like it was just Tuesday yesterday. This week has been an awesome one as we got to teach some really powerful lessons and help Abigail (that's the name of the joven we baptized the last week) to be confirmed a member of the Church. During this week my companion and myself have been visiting lots of less active members, because as I have said in the past, the numbers are something like only 16 percent of members are active. And so as part of our calling it's to help people to come unto Christ, not only through baptism but also the other principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And so we set off.

Sadly from what we found out is that a lot of these people don't want to come back to church. They are fine to have the missionaries in and talk a little but they don't want to read the scriptures or pray. This is really sad thinking that some of these people are converts of only a couple months. That this person at one time was excited and taking lessons and going to church. Lucky there are some people who just had forgotten what the Spirit feels like or the blessings that they have received but are missing them. And with that we were able to bring three families who were inactive to sacrament meeting this past Sunday. And you know, a baptism is awesome. You get to see someone change and well make a covenant with our Heavenly Father. You get to see the gospel change a life and see someone come closer to Christ. But I think too many people get caught up in just that. Because this Sunday we didn't baptize. HOWEVER the love and joy I felt as these families entered our little prayer house was something very special. To see these families partake of the sacrament and afterwards with huge smiles asking us to visit this week. I know that missionaries don't just help investigators but we are here to bless the members as well.

I love all the experiences that I've had so far on the mission and I'm so happy to have even more. The time is going by a lot faster than I want (my mom will be mad at that) but I know from experience that if we are obedient to the commandments, if we give ourselves up, and serve, that in the end we are actually happier than we could've been before. I love this gospel and it's blessed my life so much. I hope you are all staying strong at home and going to church and praying and reading the scriptures. These things are so little, they take little to no time to do, yet they make the biggest difference. I love you all and stay safe! (last bit of news. someone told me the dollar is now worth 20 pesos. don't know how true that it, but if so woooo for me!

P.S. I forgot to put this is but I wanna talk about this real quick. Here they have a little holiday called Day of Kings. It's where they make this special bread called a rosca and it has little white figures in it. And you take turns cutting it and if you find a little figure in your piece you have to make tamales for the rest of the people. It's something really cool and fun they do I think its like the 6th of January but I don't remember. Anyway of the three families we cut rosca with I got picked twice with one familly and once with another..looks like the guero is gonna learn how to make tamales hahahaha!


Elder Babcock

Monday, January 4, 2016

New year

Well it's 2016. I've learned a lot in this last five months of the mission in 2015 and well there's still so much to learn as well as strengthen in this coming year. Starting with this letter I'm going to tell you how they do new years in Espinal (or pretty much all of Veracruz). The people make these mannequins called viejos. It's like a person that is the year 2015. He's old and normally his clothes are all dirty and nasty and well he's normally stuffed with corn, wood, paper, and of course fireworks (: and at midnight everyone goes outside and burns their viejo. And with lots of fireworks and fire the year 2015 is done and it's time for 2016. Also they have a dinner at like 11:30 with the family and lots of Coke. And then afterwards it's just tons of very dangerous fireworks until they run out or someone gets hurt.

Anyway it was an awesome time for me as we spent this day with members and investigators and talked a lot about becoming new people, setting goals and then acting on them. Because it's super easy I know to put our new year goals and by January 10th we are back to our old ways. (it's just as easy here to do the same) but keep this in mind as I tell you about the really cool thing that happened this week. This Sunday we baptized a joven. The experience was really cool as we got to baptize in the nearby branch called Agua Dulce (sweet water) and they actually have a church building to meet in! Even though it is super small it was nice to be in a building again hahaha. Well we had the baptism and everything went great. Normally after the baptism we give a little time to the person to share a small testimony or experience that they have had while learning or reading or something. She said this, "I know what I'm doing is right and what better way to start my new year off than by being a new person. I'm ready to start following Jesus Christ more and show him that I really want this." Not going to lie pretty much all of us started to cry a little. She has been taking lessons from the missionaries for like 6 or so months. Since before I came to the mission. But to hear from her mother about the changes she has seen and then this awesome testimony that shes going to keep on working, to keep being better and not just say it, but do it. All throughout our lessons with her she always says I wanna go to the temple. She has tons of pictures in her house and always wants drawings of temples and such. She's already planning to do baptisms for the dead for some of her deceased family members.

For this year we don't need to pick something huge to change and then end up leaving it behind in a month or two. I would challenge all of you to make a new years goal (if you haven't already) but make this one more special. Make it to strengthen yourself spiritually. And then write it down and keep it safe. Maybe in your scriptures or in the top drawer where the socks are (; but then that way it's not just something we say or try for a while. But something that you can try and work toward for the whole year. I know there's blessings waiting for you. Les amo y cuidense mucho!!


Elder Babcock