January 26, 2015 – Week 15

Unfortunately, this week we weren’t able to have a baptism. Our investigator said she didn’t feel like she was welcomed in the church with her and her family, and her husband really isn’t interested in the church.  But here’s the thing that happened the other day… We talked to her for a long time for about an hour and she told us she had the dream the other night. In her dream she said she was dressed in white and along with hundreds of other people, she was in a beautiful big white church.  In the front there was this man singing a beautiful song and she said she felt really peaceful during her dream. I’m no dream interpreter, but I sure felt the spirit really strong. I think she was in the temple and I really think that eventually she will be baptized, whether it be by me, it isn’t important. Just matters the ordinance.

     I’m sorry if there are a lot of misspelled words, this keyboard fetching sucks and its hurting my hands to type. I talked to my mission president and he said make sure you don’t follow the example of your companion. We have been working a lot harder this week and we have taught a lot more lessons. It’s not that he doesn’t want to work hard, its just he wakes up late every day. We have interviews with the president on Thursday so hopefully after that things will get even better. I just have to do all that I can do to be dilligent in the work of the Lord. Obedience is the key to success in the missions and throughout our lives. I still don’t like him sometimes, he just doesn’t have any respect. But it really doesn’t matter I dont let it get to me. haha.
     This week I ate the worst meal of my life! It took me an hour to eat it and I didn’t finish it all. We had this pasta and instead of sauce it was mayonaise and I about threw up after each bite. Also we had this torta which is pretty good with meat and cheese but this one my companion told her to put twice as much avacodo on it and I freaking hate that crap! There was some pink onion sauce crap and it was really soggy too. I about threw up and I gaged after each bite. it was horrible.
     Other than that things went pretty well this week. This weekend we have stake conference and we are getting a new stake president and a new stake. Also Benjamin De Hoyos of the 70 will be there as well. He’s presides over of all of Mexico and it will be awesome to hear from him… If I can understand him haha. I am starting to understand more and more and it’s great. Hopefully, my speaking can pick up faster and faster. I pray for it every day. I really love that scripture you shared dad it is one of my favorites as well (1 Nephi 1:1).
     Here’s something that I read this morning its in Matthew 13 I think or 14. It’s about one of the parables. It compares the kingdom of heaven to a pearl. There is a merchant searching for pearls and he comes across a giant pearl of great price and he goes and sells all that he has to acheive it. Then he buys it. Are we willing to give up all that we have to achieve the kingdom of heaven? Nothing is of more importance and of great worth than to achieve all that our father in heaven has, and we are heirs of the kingdom of god. There is a great sacrifice that we have to give to achieve it. And I am sacrificing right now to miss the last season of Jeff Gordon, which sucks, but this brings more joy, i think…hahaha Anyway, keep that in mind and work with the missionaries in the ward! Love you so much! Have a great week!
     Happy birthday to you as well Mom! That sucks that the other package didn’t make it but oh well!  By the way, it’s the 9th anniversary of your 30th birthday! haha I’m excited to turn 20, its pretty dope! Love you!
     Elder Wilkes
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January 19, 2015 – Week 14

Buenas Tardes,
     That’s awesome that you and dad went to the temple for sealings and that’s a bummer that you forgot the names but its okay! Now you have an excuse to go to the temple again (: haha That’s awesome though, and yeah you’re right about the scripture mom, as many people as there are the world today everyone here chose the plan of Jesus Christ.  I just love telling that directly to a person. They seemed shocked when they hear that, but it is true!
     The food is actually getting better for some reason. I never really thought that praying for the food to taste better would work, but it actually does and my testimony of prayer has grown significantly. I just had a thought that i should pray to have the food taste better to me and it actually worked! I don’t like beans but I’ve actually asked for more a couple of times this week and today I ate beans twice.
     Guess what? We are having a baptism this week on Friday. We’re talking to her tomorrow to see if she is ready for this Friday so pray that she will say yes! I’m praying. Her name is Jannet and her husband Sergio is a less active member. I think Jannet getting baptized will change his mind and his ways towards the church. Hopefully it is a blessing, well actually i know it is.
     My companion is all right.  He still doesn’t wake up on time but I’m going to talk to him again. We’re only together another 3 weeks and nothing more! But I know that God puts me with people to test them and to strenghthen them and me as well. Also, it is definitely preparing me to get married in the future. This sunday was awesome. First they told all of us to give a talk Saturday night, so i prepared. i took the True to the Faith book, opened it randomly and this is what came up “how to find peace and to be healed through the atonement.” I thought about that all day saturday and I prepared. Unfortunately I didn’t speak because the stake president spoke to us instead. Jannet came to church along with 4 other people (we had 5 people at church Sunday) and she ended up crying during his talk. It was about tithing and fast offerings so when we teach her the law of tithing tomorrow I think she will except that.
     Things are starting to get better here.  I’m almost done with Doctrine and Covenants and then next I’m going to read the Book of Mormon and I’m going to finish it in the month of February starting on the 1st and whoever is reading this I’m going to challenge you to do the same. Also, if you have a question and you read the Book of Mormon with that question in mind, by the time you’re done your question will be answered. One of the greatest ways to receive revelation is through the Book of Mormon and also attending church.
     To the less actives, Mom, Dad, friends and family. There are three things that we need in our lives in order to not fall. 1. Read the Book of Mormon every day; 2. Pray every day as a family and personal prayers; and 3. Attend church. If we do these things we are building a foundation on Jesus Chirst, a SURE foundation where it cannot fall (Heleman 5:12). The world is evil and always will be and that’s why eventually it will be swallowed up in the flames of fire and suffer through the gulf of misery and endless wo. It’s pretty sweet in Doctrine and Covenants it says the angels will come and pluck up the wicked and cast them into a fire.
     Also, that conference talk –  stay on the boat and hold on tight! Don’t let go and the Savior will steer your ship into life eternal. I’m definitely learning a lot out here in the mission. The Lord is also helping me alot with my Spanish and learning doctrine. I’ve also almost learned all the Spanish cuss words too, unfortunately.  Tell Devin Call that his message was awesome and I miss him. I don’t have time to write him back this week, but I will write to him next Monday.  Continue doing service because when we do service for our fellow man we are also in the service of our God!
Love you so much! (:
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January 12, 2015 – Week 13

Things are going great here in the mission. We had a family come to church yesterday, but it sucks because we were late because of them and we weren’t able to take the sacrament which really stinks. Mom, my friend here said his mom reads my blog. His name is Elder Larsen.  He’s awesome, I love him. Anyway, we have a lot more baptism dates for people and I think we are going to have some in the beginning of February.  It’s exciting and nervous and happiness all at the same time! The Lord has definitely helped us out a lot. My companion still likes to sleep in everyday which sucks alot because we aren’t able to have companion study, but I’ve done a lot of personal and laguage study which is great. I told the president today in email so we’ll see what happens next.
It feels awesome to bring someone that you have been teaching to church! It’s a real blessing that I’ve been praying for it for almost 7 weeks now. That’s awesome that you and dad might be taking a Spanish class at FSCJ.  I know classes help because there’s a Hermano here who takes English classes online and he’s almost fluent and has been doing it for only 5 months! It’s the same guy who has the PO box address I gave you. I hope it works because I want some baller paisley ties for my birthday!! Some beautiful ones … i just can’t have pink, please!
This week has been raining and muddy. It rained like the dickens yesterday and one of our investigators didn’t come to church and a recent convert as well because it was raining, but it’s just another excuse not to come. Oh well. Hopefully and prayerfully next time. Things are still difficult, but I’m still happy. I told dad about the food thing. I’ve been struggling a little with that, but hopefully it will get better.  I trust in the Lord and he will change the hearts of the people to make better food… just kidding haha But he can change my tounge because he created it!
Also prayer is such an awesome thing that we have in our lives. The power of prayer is so strong. Not like most religions believe this but it is true – prayer is a TWO WAY communication with our father in heaven, He loves us and he wants us to talk to him. Plead with the lord every night as a family and by yourself and really pray – not like those whimpy reciting prayers that people sometimes say the same every night  – and you will have a better life and he will answer you.
Love you mom!
That’s awesome dad that you shared that scripture (Proverbs 3:5) I read that this morning because I’ve been struggling here with the language, the food, and my companion. He likes to sleep in a lot – the other day he woke up at 1pm. It’s happened a few times and it sucks. I’m having a problem with the food here, and especially lunch appiontments. I haven’t been able to eat all the food only like 4 times here andI  think thats pretty good, but out of those four times I think I’ve offended the people and I felt really bad. The hermanas complained to the bishop about all this stuff and how the Elders (me) didn’t eat all the food. I might have to get transferred out of this area into a different one. The bishop said that he’s going to talk to the Mission President to get me transferred to a different area which really sucks because I’m starting to like it here. I’m starting to get to know all the members and to really start making a difference here in Terrazas. I had to plead with the Lord and ask him why he sent me here to Mexico. I still haven’t received an answer and it’s difficult. I also asked him to help with with the food. Hopefully I don’t get transferred, but if I do it’s the Lord’s will and I’m willing to do whatever. It’s best that we put all of our trust in the Lord and wait for the best to come. Sometimes things will happen right away and others not until we are in heaven. Love you!
That freakin’ sucks that the Broncos lost the freakin game! Oh well. I’m pulling for Colts to win the super bowl -can’t stand Pats or Seattle.
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Nuestro Ejemplo Perfecto – Our Perfect Example

When things get tough and hard, I look to our perfect example, Jesus Christ. Our life here on our Earth isn’t easy. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t easy. Missionary work isn’t easy. Keeping the commandments isn’t easy. Spanish definitely isn’t easy.

Well guess what… The life of Jesus Christ wasn’t easy, but he lived it PERFECTLY and we are asked to do the same. In Matthew it says, “be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect. We all have challenges, we all have heartbreak, and we all have depression and regrets. We are all sinners. But when things get hard, we we don’t decide to not open our mouths because we think it is hard or we are afraid to know what our friends might think and if they will reject us. When things get hard I like to look at our perfect example, Jesus Christ. He lived and died so that all of us would live again. He was ressurected on the third day. We too will all be ressurected just like Him.
Remember the Lord, Jesus Chirst. He is the Captain of the ole ship Zion. When we decide to get lazy and the TV seems more interesting than opening our scriptures, look to our example Jesus Christ because he pressed forward. Jesus Christ, the son of the the living God asked if there is some other way. “Let this cup pass from me,” he said. When i think of that I don’t ever want to rest. I love the Lord. Jesus Christ lives! He loves us. Through him we will all live again.
Christ
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January 5, 2015 – Week 12

Feliz Dia de Reyes! Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Hello everyone, and mom and dad and other family and friends. Sorry it’s so late but this week has been pretty well. My Spanish is been becoming better and better since I’ve last talked to you on Skype. I’m so Jealous that you were able to go to the Tennessee and Iowa game. I’m so glad that Tennessee kicked their butts!! That’s awesome that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was there as well. I remember seeing him in Bristol. Did you get an autograph for me? Also that’s awesome how there was only like 5 Iowa fans there. Tennessee is back in the game. I can’t believe we won a bowl game! It’s like the first time in 7 or 8 years. (if it is more please do not tell me) hahaha. Anyway, I’m glad you had fun! Also how is dad doing? How did his first day at work go? Madie as well – today was her first day back at school, hopefully it went well. I don’t how long her and Parker are gonna last broken up. I feel like they’ll eventually get back together haha. Hopefully Madie CHOOSES TO GO ON A MISSION! I need someone else in our family to go on a Spanish speaking mission as well so I can talk fluently with them! Jordan I have that feeling that you’re gonna be going Korean. Lauren you should choose to go on a mission as well! You all will be blessed if you do so!

Anyways…. Its been pretty tough here in Terrazas. This Sunday we didn’t have any of our investigators come to church again. It really sucks because the people want to progress and they have testimonies of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and of other things, but they don’t come to church to progress and to partake of the sacrament. I’ve never really realized the importance of the Sacrament much before. I know now it is really important that we partake every Sunday, It is the ONLY reason that we have church on Sunday.Also, here in Tijuana the Lord is definitely hastening his work. We are getting a new stake and people think it’s going to be our building here in Terrazas. Hopefully it is because that would be awesome.

This past Sunday I got to teach gospel principles class all in Spanish and on an awesome topic! Family History and Temple work. I have no idea how I was able to teach that 40 minute class all in Spanish. I know i had a lot of help from the spirit. I taught almost all investigators. It’s really weird talking about temple work such as sealings and baptisms for the dead to investigators, but I could tell that they felt the spirit in the class because they were smiling the whole time. It was pretty awesome. I shared witht them the oppurtunity that I had to be sealed as proxy for Grandpa Doug. I still think about that sometimes – it was a joyful and happy experience we had in the Atlanta temple with all of our family. I talked to them about the blessings we receive by getting a temple here in Tijuana. Also I still think about the time when I was confirmed for Grandpa Sonney. I can almost guarantee that Grandpa Sonney was there that day in the Orlando temple when his ordinances were being done. The same with Grandpa Doug and our other family in the sealing room in Atlanta. I also showed them my pedigree shart and told them about where I come from. People are amazed here when I tell them that my antepasados were pioneers!

Not a lot of people here have grown up in the church, but they are their own pioneers here in Mexico. The church is true and the Lord is hastening his work. Once I get fluent I want to help people here with their family history. It’s really important. I know our family does a really good job with it since y’all took 52 names to the temple on Saturday in Orlando for the youth temple trip. I want to help start getting people ordinances ready for their ancestors so by the time November comes people will flood the temple here in Tijuana to have their families ordinances done. Also in heaven people will be flooding the gates and shouting for joy because they can dwell with our Heavenly father for time and all eternity and they can be together forever. Temple and Family History are so important!! Dad and Mom we need to trace our family back to Adam directly! That would be pretty awesome.

Also guess what – i lost 3 kilos!! Which is like 8 pounds’ish.. haha but it’s awesome. But I probably gained it all back the other day. This hermano took us to the American buffet on Thursday and it was awesome! I ate 8 plates of food and they’re not the sissy plates either. I filled up those plates and gorged myself and then after I felt pretty sick haha but it was worth it. We also went there again today. I only ate 3 plates, but its really good food! Also the hermano took us to the temple and we took more pictures and I got a picture in front of the temple.  We tress passed, but we are missionaries so I think it’s okay, or maybe not hahaha. It was awesome.

Also mom and dad and family and friends –  tomorrow is Dia de Reyes. Mom go to that Mexican store called Mi Pueblo and ask them if they have any Rosca de Reyes. It’s a cake and it’s really good and not expensive. It’s for Mexicans! It’s like the cake they have for Mardi Gras where they put the baby in it. It’s pretty much the same thing, but go buy some it is awesome!

But my time here is awesome we haven’t had any baptisms but it’s okay because our mission is not about how many baptisms it’s about inviting others to come to Christ and to help other people gain a closer relationship with God.

Once I get fluent I’m probably gonna teach people how to read.  A lot of people here don’t know how to read. Never once in my life have I met anyone who doesn’t know how to read. It’s really sad so I’m gonna eventually help people with that! I love helping people  – there is a real true joy in helping other people! It’s quite wonderful! Anyway, I love all of you a lot!

Love Elder Wilkes

P.S. I really miss country music and NASCAR and football. I really wish I could just listen to country music just once! Also I was able to buy pants and some ties for me and my companion. Thank you! I still haven’t received my package yet, oh well eventually! That address I gave you mom is good for as long as I am here in Terrazas. The Mederos family is like the best family here and they have a beautiful home too. They remind me of you Mom and Dad. Anyways love you all. Good luck with the fishing Paw Paw! If you need any equipment you can use mine just ask my parents they know where it’s at!

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December 29 – Week 11

Hey Mom,

You’ll have to send this message to the rest of the family and friends. No tengo mucho tiempo hoy, pero próximo lunes, si. Anyway, yesterday was awesome! Unfortunately none of our investigators came to church again. It sucks a lot, but this one teenager came to church and i don’t know how but he just showed up. He came for sacrament meeting, nada mas. But we contacted him afterward and we decided to go over to his house and we taught his family lesson 1, The Restoration. I was able to be a part of it and talked about how the gospel blesses families and talked about Joseph Smith at the end. My companion asked all of them if they would be baptized on the 5th of February. Before he was even done with the question all of them started shaking their heads and all of them said yes. it was awesome and Espíritu Santo fue mas fuerte!! it was awesome!
This week has been great i really enjoyed talking to all of you on Skype for Christmas. It was honestly my best Christmas present ever! I’m having a great time and really enjoying everything. It has been quite chilly this morning  – i could see my breath in the house and the door was shut all night.  Tell Paw Paw this –  I forgot to tell him on Skype about the fishing.  Right now in Jacksonville it’s pretty good for fishing. Whiting, trout, bluefish, ladyfish, and occasionally redfish are all on the pier, but nothing really big is there except for sharks and stingrays.  Tell him to go on a day that isn’t windy and cold. 40s and 50s are good if it isn’t windy, but the fishing is pretty good! I love all of you so much! Have a wonderful time watching the ball drop. I will probably be asleep because we have to be in by 6:00 p.m. on the 31st. Have a wonderful anniversary Mom! Love you again.
Elder Wilkes
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