Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WEEK 74 - Baptism, Choir, Migraine, Working Hard

Bryce has been super busy and is continuing to serve in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico.  The weather has finally turned cold and I see many more pictures with full suits.

Some of his experiences in the past 9 weeks.  Bryce and his companion had dinner with a family that are in his branch. A few days later there was a fatal car accident in front of his apartment.  He witnessed all the emergency teams, crashed vehicles, etc.  That night at 3 a.m. his phone rang.  He was asleep and it was an unknown number so he ignored it.  A little while later, his phone rang again but this time he answered.  It was the father of the family he had eaten dinner with a few days earlier.  The man on the other end told Bryce that his daughter was in a horrible car accident and had passed away earlier that night. He asked if  Bryce and his companion could please come over to the house and give his wife and the family blessings of comfort.  Of course, they got up, got dressed and walked in the middle of the night to offer these blessings.  Bryce said it was really hard to watch how quickly a life can be taken and to see the effect on the family.  He has since been able to continue contact with this family and do his best to help them through the grieving process.

More recently (this week) he had the opportunity to baptize a sister that has been trying to get the courage to be baptized for an entire year.  She is deathly afraid of water so she couldn't imagine going under the water to be baptized.  Bryce was able to comfort her and walk her through it and prove he was tall enough to save this short, sweet woman should she get lost in the water. 

Sunday the AP's (Assistants to the Mission President) called Bryce and told him he would need to take a bus to Chihuahua the next morning (1.5 hour bus ride).  Turns out about 14 missionaries were selected to sing a hymn for Elder Oaks that is coming to visit the Mission on December 9th.  They put together a special choir and Bryce will be traveling to Chihuahua every Monday until December 9th.  He said the practice for severl hours each Monday and then ride the bus back to Cuauhtemoc.  He is excited for Elder Oaks to be coming to Mexico and honored to get to sing for the occasion.  Bryce was also happy to meet up with many of his past companions and said he didn't realize how much he had missed some of them until he saw them again (at the choir practice).  He got to spend time with Elder Mucino!  Mucino was Bryce's very first companion when he arrived in Mexico so they have a special bond.  He also mentioned seeing Elder Lito Martinez who was also one of  his very favorite comps oh and he said he was super excited to see Elder Epperson also.  Not a comp but a connection in some area at some time :)  I'm starting to have a hard time keeping them all the connections figured out.

Last note we got this week was Bryce had his first migraine of his Mission.  It happened last Thursday.  They were in Chihuahua having a training meeting with the Mission President and Bryce could tell his eyes were not okay.  He has struggled with migraines as a teen and we were concerned about them on his mission but he was able to go 17 months before he had his first one!  That's a blessing.  He carries the  meds with him in his bag but said it's been so long since he had a migraine that he was afraid to take it. That's when these elders need a Mom to tell them what to do.  So he took nothing so of course he lost his vision, his arms and legs went entirely numb and his speech got all crazy. (His migraines mimic a stroke)  Not sure if  the other elders knew what was going on but he's lucky they didn't carry him off to the hospital).  He said he felt pretty lucky to be able to go a year and a half without any.  

That's all this mom can think of for now.  Just that he loves the area of Cuauhtemoc.  It's his favorite area of his mission and he loves the people.  

Bryce and Elder Shaw

Zone?



Elder Shaw and Bryce

Wall in Back in English "MY CRAZY LIFE"

Pday Pool

Elder Mucino and Bryce (still as close as ever)

Member baptized last Saturday




Paintball  Bryce sore his giraffe pajamas so he could be his "spirit animal"  First time I've seen them on him (apparently I made them for two of him to fit into the pajama pants)
 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

63 Funeral and beautiful green in the desert


Hello everyone! This week was pretty interesting for us here in good ol Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua! First off it kept raining and we got soaked. Again. It has been raining so much here and I'm loving it! I finally escaped the heat a bit so that has been nice! We have been focusing on some of our investigators that we haven't been able to find recently and it has been going well! We are teaching really good lessons and are getting ready for some baptismal dates with our investigators. We are also finding some new investigators and progressing with them little by little!

Also this week there was a death in the branch. A member passed away Wednesday so that took up a lot of our time because my branch president asked us to help sing at the funeral home 2 days in a row and help prep for the funeral itself. We were helping for a total of 3 days with all of the stuff so we were really busy for that event! More than 400 people showed up and filled the whole place where the funeral was held! Most of the presidency of the branch spoke and President Montoya came and spoke as well.  So that was  good to hear their words of counsel to the family (a wife and 3 kids) to help them heal and remember the Hermano.

I didn't vlog very much this week either... but heres a little tour of a park by my area! and some pics of the cuauhtemoc sign! 

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, August 25, 2017

62 Life is Good

This week was really good! We got really wet from the rain again, but that's not new! But the rain is fantastic! They say it's the most rain Cuauhtemoc has seen in years! We went and played soccer and did some sliding on slides in my area and I'm getting to know the area better! 
I've been feeling really good lately about everything in general! Especially contacting, I'll have a feeling that I need to talk to someone even after I pass them so I go back and I talk to them. Sometimes they want to talk, sometimes no, but I feel good following the spirit!

My favorite things about the mission so far:  I would say each of the families that I've gotten to know. Being with them, baptizing some of them and just the times in each area that I have shared with some of my favorite people here. People I never ever would have known if I didn't come on a mission.

The food. Definitely the food!
Post it Notes instead of paper?  I'm a confused mother?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

61. Blog Catch up

Week 61 

My week was good! We found a lot of new investigators and didn't get too soaked from the rain this week! sorry I'm writing late they brought me to Chihuahua to do visa stuff so I can finally have a green card again!



Birthday attack on my comp

Week 60 -  Chuahtemoc (I see green vegetation!!)


 
Corn Field Fun

St. David Apple Orchard, just like back home

Week 59 Transfer from Chihuahua to Chuahtemoc

Reunion with Elder Raquina Bryce's comp from Parral
Good-bye to Elder Harrison and the zone in Chihuahua

New Zone in Cuauhtemoc
First few hours in Cuauhtemoc


Week 58  Baptism 

This week we had a baptism of our investigator Maria! Everything went great and she started crying after she came out of the water! It was so sweet and the spirit was so strong in that baptism. I honestly feel that when I go down into the water with investigators, I get cleansed as well from the special spirit that is there and I always feel great coming out of a baptism.

Elder Johnson and Maria
Pre-Baptism Preparations

Ok no I really didn't get run over by a Nissan, but I did have one stop on my foot in the street. I'm just going to leave it at that because I don't really remember how it happened jajaja. I'm fine though no damage done, just a bit of surprise that a car was on my foot.

It has also been raining nonstop this week so that was fun as well! It's starting to clear up a little, but I think there's a little kick left in the storm clouds. We'll see what happens there then. but thats it for this week! 

Week 57   -  Story Time

Hey everyone! So this week it rained a ton, and thanks to a poncho I found in the house I didn't get all that soaked! It was still really nice though and it was almost cold in the mornings when it was overcast!

We are prepping the baptism so that's what's going to be happening a lot this week. Asides from that it was all business as usual. My vlogs will definitely tell more, so you should watch them if you have a chance. but yeah short update but I'll have more to tell next week. Love you all! bye!!! have an excellent week!​


The District
Zone Bowling

Week 56 Fardos, Mama Brick, Blessings

I wanted to share an experience from Sunday that I had. We were just coming out of our meetings, or finishing the third hour, and we were talking to someone, when someone taps me on the shoulder and asks if I'm busy. I told him no, and then he tells me a sister needs a blessing. I say ok and grab my comp to find her. We then went into a classroom and asked what was going on. She said her circulation isn't doing well and her veins were bursting in some places and she just ended up not feeling well at all. So my comp anointed and I sealed the blessing. I honestly don't even remember what I said apart from one line, which really impacted her too, which was something like the Lord will never give you anything too hard to handle (more or less because spanish). But after we finished the blessing, she had tears dripping down her face and the spirit was so strong in that room. She then said that it was right, that the Lord will never give us struggles too hard to bear. That was what really hit me this week and that was my experience of the week!

Elder Johnson and Elder Fardos finally got a pic together!
On our drive home from California, Savanna spotted this brick in the ground.   We were happy to have little Bryce reminders in many places we visited.

Week 55  Meeting new Friends!!!  

We were able to drive to Reno, Nevada to attend Elder Fowler's homecoming.  It was such a sweet experience to finally meet him and his family.  It felt like we were catching up with old friends instead of meeting friends for the first time.  The visit was wonderful.  Bryce was determined we made it there and I'm so glad we did.
Jenna, Mom(me), Elder Fowler, Dad, Savanna
We also were able to meet the Fardos Family.  Their son Elder Fardos is currently in Chihuahua serving alongside Bryce.  They were gracious enough to invite us into their home for a few days.  They also took us on a lake trip.  The company and weather were perfect!

Elder Fowler surprised each family with a gift from Bryce and Nick (Elder Fardos).  He brought each of us back a nametag from our elder.  Such a sweet moment. It was the best gift ever!
Dad Fardos, Dad Fowler, Dad Johnson
These three were so cute when they put on their son's name tags.  It was a moment to treasure.  Fardos and Johnson are adult converts and this was their first opportunity to have a tag with their last name on it.  They were all so proud to be wearing the tags.  Friends connected by our sons choice to serve.  I love that.  
Dad Johnson, Elder Fowler, Dad Fardos

Week 54 Both my American comps

See you laters.....Saying goodbye to Elder Fowler as he gets ready to head back to the US.  You will be so missed in the mission Fowler.

Saying goodbye to Elder Martinez at transfers.  Another great companion for a short six weeks.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

53 Pokémon - Fire or Water?


My week was alright. The baptisms fell through from Sunday, we had 3 people in church, but none of the potential baptisms came. We ended up leaving 4 of the investigators because they aren’t progressing and don’t want to do anything. The other investigator went to another city for 2 weeks so she’s not going to be baptized for at least another month. But I’m not worried about it at all! I told President in my letter that’s what happened and I’m not stressing!  We have a lot of other investigators that we are excited to teach and bring to church so we will be working a lot this week to help them a lot!

We won’t be baptizing on the 17th though so that kind of stinks.

So we’ve been working on finding more and on those we had found before but hadn’t followed up with a lot. It has been pretty hot here, but that’s nothing new. I’m drinking tons of water and keeping in the shade at all possible times too.

I’m feeling good all around. Martinez and I get a long really well and that’s helped a lot with things. We just always joke around and are goofing off in a good way and work really hard and well together. Physically I haven’t felt better and emotionally and spiritually I’m doing great! Oh and the paint people gave us each a statue to paint so we chose Pokémon!
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Apparently this is what happens when it's night and work for the day is complete :) These two had me cracking up. I cut 3 minutes out of the video so just their fire/water exchange is in this one.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

One Year, Service, and Sewer


Yep 1 year to the day on Wednesday!  Someone asked me about that and I said it absolutely flew by!  My hump day was last week yes, but the official 1 is this week. Funny how that works huh?

(I emailed Bryce that Elder Fardos posted a picture of the rain last Monday.  I told him it looked more like a flood than just rain). Yeah I didn’t know it was that strong until we actually left the cyber... because we then went to bail the water out of a member’s house, then went across the street (where the pics are from) We did that for 3 houses too. The drainage got clogged from the rain so the sewer water got into all of the houses and flooded them. Remember the flood we had?  Take that, but add poop, garbage and cockroaches and that’s what we were cleaning up. We made sure to scrub ourselves off well after to make sure we got all of the crap (heh heh) off of us and that we wouldn’t get infected for our service. It was pretty nasty though to be honest.
The guy in bright shoes is Michael Neumann, he served here 2 years ago and came back and married a girl here, so he’s living here until he can take her back. Turns out he’s from mesa, went to mesa high. They’re going back to mesa in August. We’re like his best friends because he doesn’t really have any friends here or in the ward.
(I asked Bryce to tell me two acts of service he gave this week - this was his response)  Other service acts... last week we were sitting at our contact park when a truck pulled up and started unloading things to sell in the park. We didn’t know what they were but went and helped. Turns out they were ceramics and they sell those and put out tables and chairs and supplies to paint the ceramics. We helped them Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then this weekend too. Turns out the lady in charge of the business has a Book of Mormon from almost a year ago, and we talked to her about religion and stuff yesterday. She told us our help has really impacted her and her family. They’ve felt more peace and tranquility and have even talked about how wave helped them. It was really amazing to me that they took so much from our little example of kindness. She even wants to give us one figure each to paint.  We’re going to take a pic with them on Friday in the park! That’s like 6 acts of service counting the days that we served. We usually just set up and leave, or contact the customers then leave, but yesterday we stayed and talked about the Book of Mormon and religion in general. She seems really interested actually!  The park is really close to our house and it’s where we contact almost everyone we meet. They always come at the same time, so we would always be there contacting and help them unload when they show up.

(I emailed this to Bryce along with  photos)  This week the Dominguez family drove from Chihuahua to Tucson to go through the new Temple. I jokingly asked her to sneak me back to Chihuahua in her car and she said she would lol.  I told her I would sneak back in her car if it wasn't against the rules!  The Dominguez family was one Bryce’s families away from home at the beginning of his Mission.
Weird I was just thinking about them the other day! Trying to remember the members that had made an impact on me so far in the mission.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

51. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else

NEW COMPANION
Elder Martinez is my new companion.  He is from Utah.  He had a baptism the week before I got here and we get along super well! He likes all of the things I do, like video games, sports, movies, tv, anime... we have a lot in common, and we teach really well together. I hope I can have this great a connection  with all of my future comps too, because we are on fire right now.

NEW HOUSE IN CHIHUAHUA

MOTHER’S DAY SKYPE
Yeah I had so much fun chatting with you guys and the time went so fast! Not just talking but from Christmas to Mother’s day went so stinkin fast!

(Bryce said his testimony in spanish and one of the girls pulled out a phone and recorded it.  We later had Juvenal translate it to English for us.  Such a sweet message)


This time I have been tried by many things but I have felt very strong the help of God in this time.  I have seen the Lord’s hand in my life with miracles and many things that have happened.  The times that I have felt alone, I have felt that someone is always with me.  Someone who is very special and very important.  Is Jesus Christ our Heavenly Father.  I know that in a short time we will be in the middle of the mission, but I have a lot or work yet.  I feel good right now.  I feel we have acheived many things well, and what we still have to achieve, we have to work to achieve it.  We must continue to strive hard. And I know this time is going to happen very fast, so I have to enjoy this time.  I know that this is the true church, the restored church.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the most true and clearest book of all life.  That we can receive any response we want from this book and is the key to our religion.  I love you so much, more than you know, although you do not understand me, but I love you so much, and this is my testimony.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
BAPTISM

So it was pretty stressful planning everything for the baptism and finding the clothes and making sure that everyone was going to be there to help with the program and everything. Everyone ended up showing late, but it was ok it all turned out super nice and spiritual! The kids were so happy after they were baptized they couldn’t stop smiling!   It was such a spiritual experience and I’m going to love these kids forever you have no idea! We are going to visit them tomorrow to read the Book of Mormon and see how they are doing.  It was a great day! 

Waiting for everyone to arrive
We are more excited and are working harder than before to make sure that our other investigators with baptismal dates get ready for that day! we have about 6 people ready for the 17th of June, and we want to find more people to get ready for that day.

I am so happy to finally have a baptism you have no idea! It was stressful, but worth it in the end!  I’m not very good at expressing emotion through typing... but I’m super happy, super content and ready to keep baptizing. We want to get at least 2-3 more before changes, because I don’t think I’ll have another transfer with my companion,  honestly.

I WOULDN’T WANT TO BE ANYWHERE ELSE

this week was a lot harder physically than most, because it is getting hotter, so I learned a lot about 1. Sunscreen  2. How to persevere 3. That it’s all worth it in the end. This has been one of the sweatiest weeks I’ve ever had, and oh man I’m not looking forward to another one! But it is raining right now so that’s nice!  We have been working really hard to find new investigators and make sure that the 6 we have are ready to be baptized the 17th, so that’s what we’ve done all week. In a lesson with one of them we shared some powerful stuff from Acts 2, and Alma 32, and it was so powerful to me the way it came out and the way the spirit guided us. Our testimonies finished it and I haven’t felt power in a lesson like that in a while!


I’m definitely enjoying my time here and making the most of it, every second! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now and I’m so glad I have you guys rooting for me back home. Thank you for that and for always being there and praying for me. I love you so much and am glad you are my mama :)https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Acts Chapter 2 Summary:  The Spirit is poured out on the day of Pentecost—Peter testifies of Jesus’ resurrection—He tells how to gain salvation and speaks of the gift of the Holy Ghost—Many believe and are baptized.



Alma Chapter 32 Summary:  Alma teaches the poor whose afflictions had humbled them—Faith is hope in that which is not seen which is true—Alma testifies that angels minister to men, women, and children—Alma compares the word unto seed—It must be planted and nourished—Then it grows into tree from which the fruit of eternal life is picked.