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!


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

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

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