Friday, December 15, 2017

WEEK 78 Elder Oaks, Transfers, Baptisms....

So first off, it snowed on Thursday!!! It was so cold and it snowed alllll daaaay. We had planning so we were in the church, but working after was crazy. So we walked in the snow and played a little bit until it got too cold. I had temps and his comp sleep over Thurs night so we could leave to get to the bus stop early and on time at 8. When we get there they tell us we can't leave until the police have checked the roads and cleared them for ice. Then we wait 2 hours to leave, and the buses were full so some of us stood. It's usually a little more than an hour trip, but the roads were backed up for the ice, so it took 2 1/2 hours to get to Chihuahua.  So we stood in the bus for the ride then when we got there, we ate, went to clean a church building and practiced the choir. The worst part was that I've had a cold because they gave us flu shots, so I've been waking up really stuffed and feeling it in the throat, and everyone was the same so we were really worried about the choir. but we practiced it and Sunday it turned out really stinkin good! It was the best it ever sounded, but we couldn't record it... but we were all posed for the pic with Elder Oaks waiting, and we could all literally feel when he arrived and was outside. it was nuts. It was a force that could not be denied. Then his message he gave was intense too. He's so clear in his teachings and he says it with such power I was blown away. Then Sunday we got to the conference center where they held the second meeting, and it was soooo full of people. I saw lots of members and missionaries, but after wards I saw all of my converts and their families and the cool families from my mission and I was on cloud 9. it was a superb weekend.  

Pics of snow, new comp and reunion with friends at the conference with Elder Oaks.

Bryce and new comp Elder Lopez
Snow Day:)

Elder Martinez
Elder Shaw
Elder Requena
Elder Garcia

Juvenal told me he wanted to come to transfers last week but I didn't think he was actually going to do it! He came to say goodbye to another missionary that leaves tomorrow. It was funny because i was getting to the assistants house and then he pulls up and gets out. I was shocked. jaja.  It was so cool!!!!  This was Bryce's Ward Mission Leader in Parral but most importantly one of his best friends.  I found out the Elders in Delicias will be traveling down to Parral for Christmas Day.  I'm so excited! Christmas with family.  He'll also get to reunite with Elder Shaw and Requena.  What a fun Christmas Day and a great reunion.

Bryce found a giraffe tie!  We are very happy about this :)

Ok so I'm in Delicias, to the east side of Chihuahua, but not so far as to pass Parral.  So it's flat here and I've only been here for 30 minutes. (I think this is the first city Bryce has been in where there aren't mountains to climb).  
So anyways on Saturday we were in the church all day for baptisms. We had the baptisms of the sisters at 10am, so we were down there early making the baptismal programs and getting the font ready and all of that jazz. I baptized the oldest, and the zone leaders baptized the other two. We then left after the service and all of the small talk and congratulating and went to eat, then came back for our baptisms at 4. There was a problem with the clothes, because the jumpsuit we had didn't fit the kid, so we had to put his white shirt on and put it over the legs of the suit. It was pretty funny and it was such a powerful service! The testimony of the Mom that got baptized and her brother, who baptized her were so strong and everyone was crying. and in the talks before hand, the daughter that is already a member shared a talk and her testimony and everyone was crying then too. I didn't cry but the spirit was so strong that it was crazy. Made me think a lot of Doctrine and Covenants18:  
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
I didn't get to go to the confirmations because they took me to Chihuahua before my ward even went to church  So they got them all confirmed, but I was in a bus.  We did get to go practice for the choir at Presidents house! and we watched the Christmas devotional there too!  That was super powerful.  We then spent the night at the Assistants house so we could get up early Monday morning and practice all day and prepare more for Elder Oaks.

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


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.