Monday, January 30, 2017

Life and Miracles

So yeah this week was just amazing. Let me tell you! Lots happened and I don’t know where to start!
First if any of you were wondering, yes Ramona did get baptized and confirmed 2 weeks ago. And no she didn’t drink coffee. #blessed She shared her testimony and said she was so happy about her decision and so grateful she found the Lord’s church! Always so gratifying to hear a recent converts testimony. :)

Next! We had transfers and I’m with Elder Juarez! He’s from Tamaulipas. (That’s a state in the north east side of Mexico, right above Veracruz) He has almost a year in the mission and we are killing it! Elder Juarez has all of his non-member relatives here ... and they live in our area!!! Talk about opportunity! He hadn’t seen them in over a year so we went to them and everyone was in a crisis! His aunt was sick, his cousin was having problems with her husband, and they had been praying and praying for help from God. And then boom we show up!!! Now we are teaching them and they are going to church! It just makes me so happy to see how much God loves His children and really knows them. Plus He hears and answers our prayers. :D Overjoyed to be apart of it.

We are also teaching a guy named Ismael and his 9 year old son Paul. (Shout out to Elder Murphy) They are also going through some family issues and decided to look for help from God. They are progressing very well and have a date to be baptized the 18th of February! Yay! 

Every day this week we have been going with our investigator Lazaro and reading 2 chapters in the Book of Mormon with him. It has been a miracle to see the changes in his appearance. And I mean his appearance spiritually. He’s literally being lit up with light more and more! He’s been kind of an eternal investigator, meaning the missionaries have tried and tried to teach him but he never wants to get baptized. His whole family is baptized and his son in law is actually the stake president. While planning what chapter we should read with him my companion and I both had the impression to read Alma 32. (Which talks about faith and compares it to a seed that we have to nurture.) We read and it was the perfect chapter to read because Lazaro is a farmer, so the analogy made perfect sense to him! We committed him to be baptized this week and it looks like he will!! Miracles! Just love it!

In other trippy news I had my last zone conference on Saturday. I had to give my testimony at the end because I’m leaving and honestly it was really surreal. My mind still can’t comprehend what’s going on and I don’t think I will until I’m on the airplane home.

Any ways that’s all for now. I hope you all have a terrific week! I am so tired about hearing about Donald Trump down here. Seems like every where we go he comes up. (Even in church.) But hey I believe in God and trust in Him and know that it His will and His plan whatever happens or is happening. I love you guys. I love this gospel! God lives and loves us! Keep the commandments and I promise you and your families will all be blessed and protected! Love you all!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017: It's cold, pictures, and nerf war

Hey family and friends and future grandchildren and great grandchildren that may one day find these emails! 
It got cold this week out of nowhere! Like I’ve gone almost all my mission without putting on a jacket because I’m usually always in the heat but I finally got to experience a little bit this week. It probably wasn’t even that cold but I’m so used to humidity and sweating that I was freezing. And we don’t have hot water in out house, so you know mornings are just a blast!

We are teaching this hilarious old lady named Ramona who is just the sweetest thing you will ever meet. She has a date to get baptized this Saturday and we hope all will go through! She has a problem with the word of wisdom (coffee) that we have been helping her and verifying with her every day. I asked her once "sister have you been drinking any coffee lately?" and she says "oh ya i had some this morning" and I was like "SISTER WHY??" and she starts laughing and says " nah man of course not what are you thinking!" Hahahha such a jokester. I love her to death. :)

In my studies I’ve been reading a lot of cool talks. Moral discipline by D. Todd Christoffersen and Self Mastery by James E. Faust. Such a great read! They talk about doing the right thing even when its hard, having a vision, achieving goals, mastering christlike attributes and lots of cool stuff! I could share a lot of things about them but I’ll just share a quote from a poem called Invictus that they use that really touched me “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." In this new year of 2017 I bet everyone made goals and looked at the things they can be better in and I hope one of those goals is becoming more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our conversion and salvation is something so personal between us and our Savior and it requires that we become very self disciplined in keeping His commandments and covenants and striving to always have His spirit with us. That’s one of my many goals for this year. :)

I love you all! Have a great week! 

PS these are some pictures off my companions camera that are from Christmas, my birthday and meals that we eat. Also today we had a nerf battle. Pretty intense. And yes we stacked chairs up. ;)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas


This week was a week of service (double thumbs up) and boy did we serve!

We went with a reference named Berenice. When we got to her house and presented ourselves we saw she needed help moving some stuff in her house. So we went to work! Moving beds and mattresses, and getting dirty and grinding! It was actually nice because no one lets us serve them unless we do it afuerzas (against their will.)  Berenice was pretty overwhelmed with a lot of stuff and the look on her face when we got done was nothing but gratitude. Aw :). Then we saw that she needed her house painted so we painted it the next day too! Gotta love it, service brings sunshine in my soul. Especially in these times!

I also love Christmas because well we as missionaries get to talk to our families:) I love my family! It was such a blessing to see all of you again and talk about how you all are doing. :) Love each an every one of you!

Christmas is also a special time because theres a ton of singing and I LOVE SINGING CHRISTMAS SONGS! We had our ward posada (which is like the ward Christmas party.) I don't have pics of that sorry.  We got to participate in the ward choir and help break piñatas, always a good time! Then on Saturday, after I got done talking to the family in Fresno, our zone went and sang Christmas songs and hymns for 2 hours in a public area! It was really awesome! When we started no one even payed attention to us but then we started jamming with the Christmas spirit and at the end there was a solid showing! We of course contacted them and invited them to hear a message from us and it was a success I would say.

And last and most important of all Christmas is a wonderful time because we remember the momentous event of our Savior Jesus Christ's birth. The king of kings, lord of lords, the literal son of God born in the flesh, and the creator of the earth and heavens was born in a most humble manner: in a manger found in the little town of Bethlehem. Born with the mission of saving all of us from both physical and spiritual death and to show us the way back home to our Heavenly Father. We are almost done with another year and 2017 is upon us and I hope that each of you can make goals this next year to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be a better person than you were the year before. I know I will! I'm going back to live with my Heavenly Father! I've made that decision! and I hope to help other come with me as well:) I love you all and I love this gospel! I know He lives and loves us! 


Monday, December 12, 2016


Everyone! It's been a while. I know I'm sorry! So so sorry! I bet you all have been on the edge of your seats with anticipation every Monday. Well the wait is over. #blessed

These last few weeks have been by far the hardest of all my mission in the aspect of adversity but all has come to an end. Finally. But through it all I've learned so much and the Lord has blessed me with so many miracles. I can't even count them! For those of you who didn't know I've been without a companion for the last couple of weeks (almost all the transfer) and have been working with members or in trio with the Zone Leader's (which was cool because a year ago I was in their area and I've been working with them and seeing a bunch of old familiar faces that I love so much!) 

We've been working and baptizing like crazy! The work is progressing very well. :)  Cool experience: so a year ago when I was in the area of Ejidal (the ZL's area) I taught this lady named Raquel.  She was super nice, always accepted us well but didn't progress. Now a year later I see her just passing through the streets of Martinez. And I thought well I'm seeing her everywhere for a reason so must mean I have to go back and teach her again with the ZL's. We go contact her and now she's progressing and CHANGING. Literally illuminating with the light of Christ. She has a goal to get baptized this Sunday and what a blessing it is to see her change, repent and prepare to make covenants with God! 

An update of whats happening in the life; today is the Holy Virgin Day and every day this last week people have been lighting off a bunch of fire works that sound like canons going off. Oh and they seem to think its a brilliant idea to do it at 4 OCLOCK IN THE MORNING. You can imagine my reaction. Also I received letters from a family of converts in Tuxpan and I was so overjoyed to hear they are super strong in the gospel and already have plans to be sealed in the temple in a year!!!!!! When I read that I ran outside and screamed and jumped for joy! Such a blessing! Also I hope to see them soon because I'm getting transferred out and going back to Tuxpan! To a different ward but still very close by! 

These last couple of months I've also been teaching the López and I see that same change in their eyes and in their being as the restored gospel illuminates their life! They got baptized 2 weeks ago and are now preparing to go to the temple this week! What a blessings! (Their names are Alma, Isairy, and Areli; pics below)

Also in November we had a miracle baptism of Victor Hector. hahaha Love that guy. He's a legit cowboy! What a blessing that was after an extremely hard week.

Last but not least Don Isidro!! hahaha He's this little hilarious old man with so much faith! He had a lot of adversity from his family about getting baptized up until the very last minute. Thats when he exclaimed to his family "I'm getting baptized because I know its what God wants me to do." Talk about a spiritual experience! Then to cap it all off after the baptismal ordinance when we're still in the water, he asks me "thats all?" I said yep and then he says to me "but what about the soap?"  I was dying!!!!!!!! hahaha Such a funny dude!

When all is said and done the Lord is so loving towards his children. Inspite of many hardships in recent weeks, the Lord blessed me with a number of miracles and allowed me to baptize even without a companion by my side. It would have been so easy to feel alone and feel like I had been abandoned. But through earnest study of the Atonement and Christlike attributes, I now know how the Lord comforts us in our times of hardship. So many of my prayers have been answered by his Holy Spirit and its filled me to such a degree that I now have no more doubts. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the Church of Jesus Christ upon the face of the earth. The Book of Mormon is a marvelous blessing and book, it is without question 100% inspired for our day and the truest book on the face of the earth! Read it!! My faith grows every time I do. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, he is the great Jehovah and Messiah, foreordained to come to this world and perform the ultimate act of love, the atonement, so that salvation may be realized by OBEDIENCE to the laws and ordinances of His gospel. I ask any of you reading this, do you know these things are true just as I? Do you long for for the day to hear the voice of the Lord to say to you : "Come ye blessed, for thy works have been works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?" "Do you exercise faith in the redemption of he who created you?" Have you experienced a change of heart and the joy that comes from the holy spirit of living the gospel?" and if so "can ye feel it now?" I love you all! I love this gospel! Have a fantastic week!

Raquel gave us pancakes with ice cream. So good!!!!

A lot of people for baptized on Sunday, including Isidro.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Friends, family, and random strangers that happen to come across this email/ blog!
This week was a doozie! Transfers were this week and I'm staying here in martinez for a little bit longer. Woooh! But there were some changes. We were originally sharing the ward with sister missionaries, but in transfers they both left. Now we have the whole ward to ourselves! Yes baby more work and more blessings! So we've been working hard this week and our area is a lot bigger now. :)

We also changed houses to the sister missionaries old house, which was so much more centric to member and the chapel. (Is that a word? IDK. I don't speak much English these days.) So basically there were transfers but at the same time not.

We started off the week (Elder Villa and I) strong. We have this amazing family of three: Alma (single mom) and her 2 daughters Isairy and Almita. They are progressing amazingly and have baptismal dates on the 20th (fingers crossed).

Last Sunday when we were teaching them we got a phone call from one of the member saying that his daughter needed a blessing and was in the hospital. Well we rushed on over and found a young woman named Gabriella laying down on what seemed like her death bed. She was having hard time breathing and it seemed like she had major heart problems which cause her to convulse and shake very violently and the doctors didn't know what to do or what was wrong with her. We gave her a blessing and said many prayers and left it in the hands of the Lord. Many others in the hospital and recognized us and also asked for blessings on there loved ones (a great teaching opportunity) and we happily did so.

It was a touching experience and I could feel our Heavenly Father's love for them in every blessing.
This week was also super stressful because Maria Elena (our baptism from last month) was kidnapped and missing! It was so intense and yet it brought many people together. Everyone in the family was praying for her return (friends, neighbors and the church) and a miracle happened. She was returned alive last Friday. It was such an intense experience and yet it strengthened my testimony in prayer, that it really does have power! It was truly a miracle!

These last weeks have been so extremely stressful and eventful and I could not have gotten through it without help from my Heavenly Father. I feel that my relationship with Him has grown tremendously that last few months and for that I am eternally grateful to Him. God lives and He loves us.

I testify that this is the Lord's church here on the earth. I know this because the Lord has revealed it unto me countless times through the spirit! And in His church we are blessed to have his priesthood or the power of God given to men. This priesthood blesses countless lives from blessings the sacred ordinances necessary for salvation (Mathew 10:1). That power its real and I gained a testimony of its power yesterday when I saw Gabriela (the girl who was in the hospital) at church and completely healthy and free from the illness that held her bed ridden. Miracle! What a blessing it is that the Lord allows us to be tools in His hands and the means of blessing the lives of others.

I love you all so much and thank you for all of your prayers and support! Have an excellent week and look for the miracles that God works in our lives!

ps. The picture shows some handmade ties an hermana made for me. I needed new ones because all my mine were dirty and old. Here in Martinez there aren't many places to by cool ties, so instead we bought cool fabric and they turned out pretty dope!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Conference, baptism, and scenery

Hey family! Just an update from little Martinez de la Torre.  It's been raining every day and I enjoy itcompared to the eternity of heat that just passed by.

Elder Vega and I have been working super hard to change things around in our area and ward and things are changing for the better thankfully.

We have a bunch of little ranchos in our area. We went to find some referrals we had in some of them and they turned out amazing!  We had 2 families in church this Sunday and they all loved conference! Such a blessing! Especially after such long trial and error.

I loved conference so much! The apostles and prophets explained everything with such simplicity and focused on what really matters: Christ (Acts 4:12 especially), the Book of Mormon, and the plan of Salvation! Three things that will bring peace to anyone's life! I especially enjoyed the talks of Elder Bednar, Elder Cook, and Elder Ballard and invite everyone to ponder, study and apply those talks in their lives.  I know I will! 

At the end of the week we had an amazingly beautiful baptismal service of Maria Elena! She's such a strong kid with an amazing determination to repent and become a better person.  She is a pioneer for her family, who are now desirous of changing their lives also!

I love this work and I love being an instrument in the hands of the Lord in helping others draw towards Him!  I testify that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way of finding lasting peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.  What a blessing it is to hear how we can accomplish this from the inspired words and direction of living prophets and apostles!  I am so blessed to be able to share this message everyday and I hope you all can too! Christ lives! He guides and directs the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints; He leads this church and I know and believe it!

One of the ranchos was in the middle of a jungle. Quite unbelievable. 
It felt like it was a scene from a movie.

Indiana Jones

The baptism of Maria Elena!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New companion and Illness

Hey what's up friends and fam! Sorry for not writing a lot lately, but I got a lot to catch y'all up on. So I'm just going to get down to the nitty gritty. 

A couple weeks ago my companion/kid Elder Santillan had to go home for some family things. So sadly we weren't together that long, but they were short and very fullfilling moments we had, and I hope to train again soon! 

So now I'm with my first gringo companion, Elder Hodson, and he's the freshest piece of baked bread you'll ever want to eat in your whole life.  We get along really well and he motivates me to go to the gym every morning at 6. He's from Las Vegas and knows the lead singer of Imagine Dragons, so that's dope.

We've been teaching a bunch of cool people and hopefully we can get this area baptizing in a couple of weeks because it has been a drought here for the last couple of months.

Also health update. Don't get freaked out anyone. But I think I may have zika ... or just an allergic reaction.  Woke up on Sunday with a bunch of red dots all over my body, like I had some sort of rash but that doesn't itch.  Any ways that and a fever kept me in bed for a while, but its really not that bad I should be back in A shape in just a few days.

We also went on a hiking trip and found some pyramids that were on some guy's property. That's Mexico, people have ancient Mayan structures in there backyard. Hahaha.  We took some pictures and it was great! Hope you all enjoy them.

It came to the truths this week that I only have 6 months left, which is extremely mind boggling and sad. I'm on the last home stretch and I have to take advantage of every moment.

I love this work and I love being a missionary for my Lord and Savior.  He is the reason I came here to save lives.  I love Him so much and I love His gospel and I love His church and the leaders He has chosen to guide it.  He lives and reigns forever!

I love you guys, and I as always thank for your prayers and supports!

Here's some pictures!

A guy that was fishing with his bare hands in a little stream

How much my companion and I are lifting every morning

My area is really big and green

My hand from this morning with a zika or allergies who knows; basically what my whole body looks like

The pyramids

Countryside mountain