A Summer With Great-Aunt Rose

November 19, 2015

I have some time to think this week about some of the things that I have had trouble with in the mission. Some of the things have been health, comps, and the food. Although these things have been hard for me I have learned the gift of be positive! I was reading this morning in a talk given in the last conference but I believe that it was in the “only women part” about two wonderful people. Their names are Eva & Aunt Rose, the condensed story is that Eva had to go to the house of her Aunt Rose for the summer. Eva thought that everything was going to be really boring because the house was old and that there wasn’t her family or friends. Time past by Eva realized that her Aunt Rose wasn’t boring but really the happiest person she had ever met. As the timed came to and end with her Aunt, Eva asked “how are you so happy?” She answered with a painting. The painting depicted a pioneer girl, who was jumping down a green lined trail. She asked “what do you see?”.Eva responded “a girl that is jumping”, she her Aunt explained that she was happy to be on the trail although there was many trials. What I love most about the story is the following response “There is enough things in life that don’t go well, anyone can sink into the heaviness and the sadness. Although I know many people that, even when things do go well, they focus on the wonders and miracles of life.”

great aunt rose

As I have reflected on my week, I have figured out that it is easier to focus on what is bad than what has been the miracles. I will share something very personal, this week I had the opportunity to fast outside of the Sunday fast day, and wow… to give a little bit of background story, for the entire week before this day I had not felt the Spirit and it made me sorrowful. I had pleaded and pleaded with God to be able to give me a portion again but he did not, or at least I thought. As I was sitting in my at a members house, I asked if I could start my fast in his room and he said yes. As I put my knees to the floor I said “Father, I can not do this anymore, I need your help…”. when all of the sudden I felt happy. I felt as if someone had put there arms around me and said everything is going to be ok. I cried for a few more minutes and there it was a new me.

I can testify that when are down we need to look for the help of our Savior and our friend.I can also testify that I would be here almost at a year away from everything if I didn’t have a strong testimony that Joseph Smith restored what we know as the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen

Advertisements

Family Is Important

October 26, 2015
This week has been rather interesting. My comp has been sick I had a lot of time to reflect and read in Doctrine and Covenants 132 which talks about eternal marriage and what it takes to be able to reach the celestial kingdom. As I pondered that, I thought about the people in whom I am putting my effort to help them to make this covenant. Many people here are not sealed as a family and they are not happy. They have problems… They are going in two different directions, or they plainly do not love who they are with. I have learned that in order to have a happy family, we all have to make a goal. One of these goals can be read as a family the Book of Mormon or pray as a family or even eating each meal as a family. I remember when I was still in my house, I did not appreciate the time that I had to be able to be with my family and I have learned that time you will never get back.  What you can do is be better. I extend the invitation to put a goal a  family to read the scriptures or something that puts Gods will above ours(Mosiah 6 11).
     The next thing I wanted to share is a scripture, which is found in 2 Corinthians 2:4
” For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote you with many tears; not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you” With that scripture I just want to say that I love each person the takes the time to read this email and I testify that Jesus Christ is with us in each of our trials. It is only us that push him away. I know that God anwers each prayer if we have the patience to wait for it.
elder mell;)

My Thoughts On Bolivia

September 21, 2015

Ok so for this week I am not going to tell any thing to crazy spiritual but more the things that I like about Bolivia.

     Well I will start off with the food. The food here is rather different from the States. It is full of grease and everything is fried. We have thin called milonesa which is like a pressed chicken breast that is breaded and fried. RICE oh my gosh so much rice but I have grown to love the rice here. The norm here for breakfast is something called a saltiña or a empanada which is like a hot pocket from heaven they are soooooo good!
     My area is literally jungle and farm! Although there is much city around the highway once you get about ten minutes away it turns into farm. There is this one part in my area that live people called cholitas…these people come from La Paz and they do not really like the North Americans..ha! The people here are humble but are sometimes hardhearted to the message that we give which makes me really sad…
     The church here. The church here is still very small but is growing lil by lil. This week we taught on how to become a ward and not stay a branch and it helped the members here to become a lot more excited for the new capilla.
     As for a spiritual note, I had the chance to talk about Jesus Christ in church this week. I talked about how many times do we think about him because before the mission I was very much a Sunday Mormon….I feel…  as I have not put my thoughts in anything else but him and his teachings I have realized that we as members do not think of him as much as we should. I love my savior and know that He lives and is trying to guide us in the last days!!

Testimony of Joseph Smith

August 24, 2015
     So I guess I will talk about everything that has happened in this last week….really this area is very hard to be able to get it to progress! This week we had a multi zone conference that blew my mind! We actually just talked about the basics of the teaching that we teach but very profoundly! I would like to just have everyone one that reads this think about the first time the realized that they had a testimony of Joseph Smith? And as you are thinking about that I want you to think of how many people that come to church that have a testimony of him…as we at there learning I learned that he is what has made our church different. He has made our church the true church because he brought back to earth the Book of Mormon, temple work, and real baptism. I now have a testimony that without him our church would be just like any other church!
As for my birthday ha it was not one of the best days of my mission….all of the visits and plans that we had feel through and I still didn’t get my package so that was a lil sad. But you know something that life has taught me is that happiness shouldn’t depend on what happens to you but the attitude you have;) As we arrived to the house we had bought marshmallows earlier in the day so we had  contest to see who could put more in ..I lost but I did get 11!
      As I have started to really read the new testament. I really liked in Matthew 6 17 18 when it says “But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face””that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy which is in secret: and thy father which seeth in secret, shall reward the openly” I really like this scripture because we should never do anything fr the sight of man only our Father. I have found that many people think that the things of this world are more important than the things of the world to come. although very sad we often feel that we have to impress the people here with the way we look what we do with other people when really we are like unto the fariseos when we put the materials above him.
     I love this gospel. I love my family. I love everything I am able to do for my Father for that is my greatest reward!

God Really Loves His Children

08/31/2015

Hey, so I have had a very different week this week but has been one of the ones where I have been able to find that God really loves his children. So, the past few weeks have been full of chastisement and I have finally got to see the fruits of the hard work that the Lord has been doing here! Last week, we had a family that had not attended church for awhile. After not attend church again, we kind of gave it to them hard and guess what happened the next week ? They attended with smile on their faces;) I say this because at time we do not realize that we are doing something wrong and people tell them over and over again but it never really sinks in…until God sends a messenger to tell them that this could be better so please fix it. Although sometimes it is hard, I know that we can fix all the problems we have through Jesus Christ.

Something that was fun this week is that we had a Brotherhood night. It was actually really fun because we can act like kids again playing telephone and I give you a book! Sometimes we feel as if the church is work work work , which really it is,  but we also can have fun in the process. We can play games, dance, or even just sit down and read together! I feel that the little thing of life are of the most worth and the things  of this earth that are of the most worth actually don’t mean a thing.
I just wanted to say that I love you guys and that truly I have been called to participate in a great work

Joseph Smith is a Prophet

08/24/2015
I guess I will talk about everything that has happened in this last week….really this area is very hard to be able to get it to progress! This week we had a multi zone conference that blew my mind! We actually just talked about the basics of the teaching that we teach but very profoundly! I would like to just have everyone that reads this think about the first time the realized that they had a testimony of Joseph Smith. As you are thinking about that, I want you to think of how many people that come to Church that have a testimony of him…as we at there learning I learned that he is what has made our Church different. He has made our Church the true Church because he brought back to earth the Book of Mormon, temple work, and real baptism. I now have a testimony that without him our Church would be just like any other Church!
josephsmith
As for my birthday,  ha it was not one of the best days of my mission….all of the visits and plans that we had feel through and I still didn’t get my package so that was a lil sad.
As I have started to really read the New Testament, I really liked in matthew 6: 17 -18 when it says “But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face” “that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy which is in secret: and thy father which seeth in secret, shall reward the openly” I really like this scripture because we should never do anything for the sight of man only our Father. I have found that many people think that the things of this world are more important than the things of the world to come. Although very sad we often feel that we have to impress the people here with the way we look. What we do with other people when really we are like unto the Pharisees when we put the materials above Him.
I love this gospel. I love my family. I love everything I am able to do for my Father for that is my greatest reward!
IMG_1733 IMG_1722

Sins and Butterflies

8/3/2015

Ok so this week has been very crazy! I have had a transfer! I REPEAT I HAVE HAD A TRANSFER!!!!! Right now I am with my new comp, Elder Britt, from Saint George Utah! Although it has been really sad to leave my area, I have learned how much I actually loved the people of Los Chacos…I had been there for almost 7 months and it really did feel like a home ward. I do just want to say that I do feel needed in my new area EL TORNO, which is the farthest place from the city without being considered outside of the city. It has been exactly like what Cobija was and I am really starting to love all the people here!
This week I had the opportunity to attend a funeral which, to be honest, was one of the saddest things that I have seen in my mission…even though I did not know the person that was dead, I could really feel the true mourning that was coming from this family for the loss of their son. As I had the opportunity to get to know who he was through these people, I now know that he was a member of the Church and that he truly loved the people around him. I am so happy to have the testimony that I have of the plan of salvation. It has brought me more happiness than any sort of sadness that I have ever felt. As I heard the cries of the mother, I just thought about the day that I left on my mission and seeing my family crying, but knowing I would see them again brought me happiness. That is the same principle. When someone dies we need to know that we will see them again … it will only be but a short time in our lives…

Spiritual thought:

This week, a girl in testimony meeting shared a story that I would like to share with you guys. She shared a story of a butterfly that was being killed by ants. What was amazing is she related it back to how we have sins. They might not be as big as us but in time the kill us at times physically but more often than not spiritually. They slowly sneak up and climb onto our back and inject their poison. At first, we may not feel one, but than another climbs on and bites and another and another until we die. This death can easily be avoided by brushing them off with the atonement and just keep moving forward….

Butterfly 01

I testify that Jesus lives and that He is my Savior and because of Him, I can live with my Father again and take upon me His glory. Amen

Two Baptisms and a Wedding

I have had a very eventful week so I am beyond excited to tell you guys about it!  My new comp and I have had the opportunity to go into their part of the area and I walked in on three baptisms and a wedding;) sick right? I had one baptism my first day with them and then this last week I had the chance to do a wedding and a baptism this last Friday and Saturday! So I will start off with the wedding.  It was actually quite stressful. I finally realize the real work that goes into doing such a grand thing. We started off Friday with making empanadas for like 5 hours straight but that was the fun part of the day. We actually got many less actives to help us and feel the spirit of service! So as we were doing that,  we were doing a lot of just crazy stuff to be able to help the people be comfortable with us!
Then came the real fun! An hour of blowing up balloons! We had a less active member that just goes crazy when you give him something to do! Being as crafty as we are,  we made flowers out of the balloons and taped them to the wall. In turn it actually looked like someone who actually knew what they were doing had done the decorations. Then for the wedding itself….The weddings here,  to me,  seem like they aren’t even that big of a deal because the lady just rattles something off and then says kiss the bride! But there was a lady that brought a papaya and pineapple and wholly that was soooo delicious!!!!
Spiritual Thoughts:
Do you love Christ?
I am serving a mission because I love Christ,
I teach the people of Bolivia because I love Christ
I read my scriptures because I love Christ
I take the sacrament because I love Christ
I learn more about Christ because I love Him so much
IMG_1561 IMG_1555 IMG_1551 IMG_1546 DSC00730 DSC00727 DSC00724 DSC00723

The Two Cristians

This week was something to talk about and it all starts off with the little things.  I had the impression to invite two kids to be baptized this week which was really a treat;) ha ! Well, the first young man is named Cristian. He is 18 years old and is a kid that has a good home and parents and is very interested in the church! As we go through this struggle for a lesson. I go to extend the invitation of being baptized and I totally butcher it!!! I felt like an idiot but that’s kind of whatever !! haha So, I ask him “¿serà bautizado por alguien?” (will you be baptized for someone?)  and he was like “que dijò?” (what did you say?) So I calmly tried asking again but i couldn’t seem to get the words to come out of my mouth correctly! My new comp totally took over and explained what baptism is and we have a baptism for the 22 of August!!!!!
Now for the second kid! So …he does have the same name, Cristian,  but he is 19.  Like the other Cristian, he is an amazing kid! So this time I actually practiced what I was going to say and during the entire lesson I was just thinking about what the kid is like and what he might enjoy. I had the impression that he needs to be baptized. When I extended the invitation “¿ serà bautizado por alguien que posea la autoridad de Dios?”  ( Will you be baptized by someone who has the authority of God? ) he just said “yo fue bautizado” (I was already baptized) and I had a mini panic attack and said…we will talk next time;)
So something I was studying today.  I was reading in chapter 17  in Jesus The Christ today. I  came across something that was very interesting . It says “mere pleasure is at best but fleeting, happiness is abiding, for in the recollection there of a joy renewed.” I really like this part because a lot of people say that to have happiness in this world we need to surround ourselves with all of the best of pleasures and this I have found to be a lie… This is obvious so I will say it again “mere pleasure is at best but fleeting”. I have had many experiences that I look back on the pleasures of life and think that that brought me happiness for but a short period of time.. I testify that we are in a world of pleasure but we need to be a people of happiness!
DSC00140 DSC00302DSC00710 DSC00716
Elder Tristan Mell

True Love

I guess this week I will share something simple…and I will start by asking a question… Who ever got hurt by love? I’m not talking about marriage or when we are in a relationship…I’m talking about the second great commandment that Jesus gave us. “Love others even as we love ourselves” That is what true love is. True love is that no matter what someone does, we never stop being a friend. I’m not going to lie. I am not perfect in this. I am still  human and as a human,  it is normal to hold grudges. But I know that when we truly look beyond these things, that is when we finally feel what the Savior feels for a person.
As we think of who our Savior is, I know that He would be the first to love me after I betrayed Him.  He would be the first one to give me a hug after I had cursed His name. He would,  at that last day,  testify unto the Father that I have done well. I know too often we focus on the faults of others and say that everything is someone else’s fault,  when in reality,  we can always change our mind and think…how can I help this person.
atonement-copy
On my mission, I have seen people change . Not because they received all of the lessons… not because I am an amazing teacher (which i am not)… and not because they were looking for a church to go to.  I can testify that  people change when they finally feel a little bit of the love that our Father and our Savior have for us. As the primary song goes “Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught. “
Elder Mell