The purpose of this blog is to highlight the beautiful city of Guadalajara; the faithful members, the valiant missionaries who serve here, as well as the people, culture, and food.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Baptisms 9- 11- 17 and 9-18-17

Here I am trying to catch up with all of the baptisms we have had here in the mission. :)
** please note that not all missionaries send in photos and write ups of the baptisms they have...              here is a sampling of the baptisms from the past few weeks.
1.

There was a lot of opposition before his baptism, but he overcame all of his trials. He had a couple of doubts but with time they went away. Now, after being baptized he prays for strength to continue keeping the commandments. He is converted.
Hermana Pérez, Hermana Cabrera  

Hubo mucha oposición para su bautismo, pero él pudo superar cada una de estas pruebas. Tuvo algunas dudas en el camino que fueron desapareciendo con el tiempo. ahora en sus oraciones él siempre pide fortaleza para poder vivir los mandamientos. Es un gran converso.
2.
Ignacio Madrigal. Ignacio was a reference we received from the U. S. A. He met the missionaries om Long Beach, California while he was there on vacation. He thought it was very special that two young men would dedicate their time to share a message of Jesus Christ, especially since most young folks have different interests now a days. He returned to Tecomán and we called him on the phone so that we could set an appointment with him. Since the first appointment he was very willing to make the necessary changes in his life. He was so willing that he accepted a baptismal goal so that he could prepare to return to his Heavenly Home.
His strongest motivation to continue was the support of the ward members. They were very friendly and they helped him to feel loved and comfortable in the church. A strong feeling grew within his heart. His daughter also listened to the missionaries in California. She was baptized the week before her father. Now the two families are preparing to unite together for all eternity.
Elder Acosta, Elder Cabrera
Ignacio Madrigal, fue una referencia que recibimos de los EE. UU. Conoció a los misioneros en Long Beach, California mientras él estaba de vacaciones. Le pareció algo muy especial que 2 jóvenes dedicaran su tiempo a poder compartir un mensaje de Jesucristo ya que hoy en día tiene intereses diferentes. Él regreso a Tecomán y lo contactamos por teléfono para poder hacer una cita con él. Desde la primera cita él estuvo dispuesto a hacer los cambios necesarios en su vida al grado que acepto una fecha meta para poder prepararse para regresar a casa...
Su interés que le motivo a continuar fue el apoyo de los miembros del barrio. Ellos fueron muy amigables con él y le ayudaron a sentirse querido y bien en la iglesia. Un sentimiento grande crecía en su interior. Su hija también estaba escuchando a los misioneros en California y ella se bautizó una semana antes que él. Ahora los 2 se preparan para unir su familia para siempre.
3.
Baptism of sister Graciela! We met her through the family of her husband. She really wanted to know more about the Church. She could see small things that she needed to change to be able to be baptized. From the beginning she accepted her baptismal date and from there she completed with all her commitments that we gave her. She was very attentive and she had many great questions to help her be sure of what she was about to do. A daughter of God who is willing to follow the will of the Lord. Now with her husband far away for work and two kids on the way, she is excited to prepare for the next step
Elder Custodio, Elder Manua
¡Bautismo de hermana Graciela!! Nos conocimos por la familia de su esposo. Ella tenía muchas ganas a conocer sobre la iglesia y pudría ver y cambiar pequeñas cosas que fue necesario a bautizarla. Desde el principio ella aceptó su fecha meta y desde allí se cumplió con todos los compromisos que extendimos. Fue muy atento y tenía preguntas buenas para ser segura del paso que va a tomar. Una hija de Dios que está dispuesto para hacer la voluntad de él. Ahora con su esposo lejos por trabajo y con su niño y niña que viene, está animada a prepararse por los pasos que sigue.
4.
Amayrani and Tania are the first to be baptized in their family (which is 10 people).  Now they go to seminary every day. They are also helping their other sisters so that within a couple of days they can be baptized as well.
Elder Clawson   Elder Espinosa
Amayrani y Tania son las primeras en tomar de un bautismo de su familia (la conforman 10 personas). Ahora asisten a seminario cada día. Están ayudando a sus otras dos hermanas para que dentro de unos días también puedan bautizarse. 
5.

Family Pérez Baptism
They are a very special family, they accepted the Gospel in a marvelous way. The ward received them well and they have taken part in some activities. The sister Gaby already has a calling! They are very happy for their baptism and being able to serve the Lord.
Hermana Pérez, Hermana Cabrera

Ellos son una familia muy especial, aceptaron el Evangelio de una manera asombrosa, el barrio les ha recibido muy bien y han participado en algunas actividades. ¡La hermana Gaby ya tiene llamamiento! Ellos están muy felices por su bautismo y de poder servir al Señor. 
6.
Jorge was an old investigator since two years ago, and for some reasons was not able to be baptized then, but after some time, and for his age, he had the fervent desire to change his life, as he said, “Starting over.” He came with a member to the church one Sunday and chose his baptismal date that same day, (which is also his birthday). He was prepared by the Lord and reached his goal with Him, and now has begun his new life.
Hermana Villanueva y Hermana Rojas
Jorge era un antiguo investigador de hace 2 años, por muchos motivos no pudo tomar de un bautismo entonces, pero después de tanto tiempo y a pesar de su edad aun tenia el deseo ferviente de cambiar su vida y como él lo dijo: "volver a comenzar", llego con un miembro un domingo a la capilla y ese mismo día eligio su fecha bautismal (el día de su cumpleaños), fue preparado por el Señor y logro cumplir con él, ahora ha comenzado a vivir de nuevo.
7.
The young brother Gabriel is a very special and valiant 11 year old boy that has had many desires to be baptized and was always very receptive. Since the first visit with him, he began to read the Book of Mormon and is now happy to be a member of the Church and to be able to prepare to have the priesthood. Even though he is the youngest of his house, he is now a light and an example to his family members.
Elder Palenque y Elder Sevilla
El pequeño hermano Gabriel es un niño de 11 años muy especial y muy valiente que tenia muchos deseos de bautizarse y que siempre fue muy receptivo. Desde la primera vez que le visitamos empezó a leer el Libro de Mormon y ahora esta muy feliz por ser miembro de la iglesia y saber que se puede preparar para tener el sacerdocio. Aun que el es casi el mas pequeño de su casa, ahora el es una luz y un ejemplo para los miembros de su familia. 
8.

Baptism of Alondra and Junior
They are super loving and special. They have known the Church since November and Junior took the decision to be baptized. He really wanted to be baptized, and Alondra followed him. Both were excited and wanted to follow the example of Jesus Christ. The week of their baptism they saw many miracles which allowed them to be baptized. They are a special family and want to keep progressing. They are very excited to have the Gospel in their lives and they also want to be an example for their family.
Hermana Rojas y Hermana Galvez
Ellos son super especiales y amorosos. Ellos desde Noviembre están conociendo la iglesia, y Junior tomó primero la decisión de bautizarse el estaba muy deseoso de poder ser bautizado, y Alondra le siguió, los dos se animaron y quisieron seguir el ejemplo de Jesucristo, ellos en la semana de su bautismo pudieron ver muchos milagros y todo se formó para que pudieran bautizarse, son una familia muy especial, que quieren seguir progresando, están muy animados por estar dentro del evangelio, quieren darle el ejemplo a su familia también. 
9.

Brother Salvador Torres
And after many efforts and strategies, on the part of Sister Arizmendi and Sister Torres, Brother Salvador set aside his addictions to one side in order to follow the Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ and was baptized by the proper authority. This was brought about because Brother Salvador gave place for the word of the Lord, and his soul was filled with great joy to see the changes in his life and that of his family.
There is no doubt that the miracles will continue and that God will continue being merciful towards the children of men, like what He has done for Brother Salvador.
Hermana Arizmendi y Hermana Torres
Hno. Salvador Torres
Y ocurrió que después de tanto esfuerzo y estratagema por parte de hna Arizmendi y hna Torres, hno Salvador dejo sus adicciones a un lado para poder seguir el ejemplo del Salvador y Redentor Jesucristo y ser bautizado con la debida autoridad, y esto se logro debido a que hno Salvador dio cabida en su corazón a la palabra del Señor y su alma se lleno de un gran regocijo por ver los cambios en él y su familia.
no hay duda de que los milagros siguen existiendo y que Dios sigue extendiendo su misericordia para con todos los hijos de los hombres así como lo hizo con hno Salvador.
10.

Miguel Angel is the boyfriend of an active member. For some time he didn’t believ in God, but after some days and months, he changed. He received an answered from God and felt that he was in the place that God wanted him to be. Not even the rain could stop him from having appointments that we had. He progressed a lot in these last few months, and tried really hard to prepare for the day he accepted to be baptized. Also there were some challenges the same day he was going to be baptized, but we received a lot of help from the Bishop, ward mission leader and members, and thanks to their efforts all ended well. Nothing can stop the work of the Lord and they were baptized. It was a miracle!
Hermana VEGA & Hermana HOOPER
Miguel Angel es novio de una miembro activa. Él hace algún tiempo no creía mucho en Dios, pero con el pasar de los días y meses, él tuvo un cambio. Él recibió una respuesta de Dios y sintió que estaba en el lugar indicado donde Dios lo quería. Ni la lluvia pudo impedir que él asistiera a las citas que teníamos. Él progresó mucho durante éstos últimos meses y se esforzó muchísimo para prepararse hasta ése día que él había aceptado ser bautizado.  Incluso, hubieron algunos desafíos el mismo día que se iba a bautizar, pero recibimos mucho el apoyo del obispo, de nuestro líder misional y de miembros, y gracias a ello todo salió con éxito. Nada pudo derrotar la obra de Dios, y sí pudo llevarse a cabo el bautismo. Fue un milagro!

Leadership Training

We began our leadership training with our Vallarta and Nayarit zone leaders.
We had a great day together with our district leaders,
zone leaders and sister training leaders.


President Clayton's teaching


*As leaders, part of our responsibility, is to motivate others.
  How do we do that? What is the key?
  We must be motivated - ourselves.

*Righteous leaders and patterns in the scriptures.
  What motivated them?
  How did they motivate others?

Discussion quote-
*”The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. … That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel”.   Boyd K. Packer

Absolute Truth:

1. We must come to know God, that He lives, that He exists, that we are His children
2. We must have a correct knowledge of His character, His power, His perfection, and
   His attributes.
3. We must know that our life is acceptable to Him, and in agreement with His will.

***These doctrines concerning God's true character are what Satan has obscured the most in our day.

Understanding Truths:

*Doctrine - WHY we do something
*Principle - WHAT must we do?
*Application - HOW do we do something

Example:
Doctrine - No unclean thing can dwell with God.
Principle - There must be an Atonement made.
Application - We must repentance.

Key points:
*Understanding true doctrine will motivate us, and change us if we will allow it to.
*Understanding God’s correct character allows us to have faith, confidence and trust in Him.
*Because we know and understand God’s true character we can more fully understand God’s plan as we deal with life’s varied situation
-as we face challenges here in the mission
-as we consider our personal trials
-as we try to make sense of what we see going on in the world around us.  
*In order to have strong faith, we must know that what we are doing in our life is pleasing to God..if we stray or get off track, we will feel troubled, personal guilt, and turmoil. We will feel a lack of peace in our life.
*The answer, the path, the way to feel God’s peace in our lives, is to keep ourselves aligned with God.
*Just begin doing the right thing and watch how the peace of heaven comes.   
*Joy comes into our lives by doing even the smallest and simplest things that God wants us to do.  
*Small acts of faith will bring small mercies and blessings, which will result in strengthening our testimony.



my teaching


(Notice the ibuprofen taped to my forehead).
Like medicine that must get inside of us to
begin working and make a difference in how we feel,
the teachings of Jesus, the doctrines and principles
of the gospel must get inside of us....deep inside us
in order for us to understand them and live them.

Unless we understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel
with our hearts, and feel the truth of them in our hearts.
-they will not stay with us….
-we will forget...
-the truths we once felt sure of, will fade and flicker.

Discussion on
Seeing, hearing, hearkening, and obeying.

*The heart represents our willingness to see and recognize God,
to hear His voice and to hearken to Him, and to obey Him.

Discussion:
Doctrine and Covenants 64:34

The Lord requires the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and
obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in the last days.
What does it mean 'to eat the good of the land'?

What might it mean specifically to us here in the mission?
(likening the scriptures to us)
What does it mean to give our heart and mind to the Lord?

Looking for patterns-
*Nephi
*Alma the Younger

The ear by which we hear the voice of the Lord and the
whisperings of the spirit is our heart.
EAR
HEAR
HEART

Doctrine & Covenants 1:1 - hearken (vs 12 prepare ye, prepare ye...)
3 Nephi 33:15 - This chapter is very short,
but it is chocked full of Nephi’s spiritual character.
'Thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey'.

How did Nephi come to have those words engraven into his heart…
so much that he ended his record with them?
How important is it to be obedient….
when no one is around, when no one is looking???
(spiritual integrity)

Missionary Handbook pg 7
*Strive to represent the Lord according to the highest standards of obedience and conduct.
*Words, thoughts, and actions in harmony with the message of His gospel
*Righteous conduct will influence your effectiveness as a missionary and your personal salvation
*Your conduct also affects the trust and confidence of nonmembers, members and fellow missionaries have in you
*Conduct yourself at all times in such a way that everyone who sees you will recognize you as a representative of Jesus Christ.

Quotes to Ponder:
*Obedience builds our spiritual character.
*Obedience is the 1st Law of Heaven.
*Obedience is an Act of Faith - as we obey, our faith is increased.
*The discipline contained in daily obedience and clean living.. builds an armor       
around you of protection and safety from the temptations that beset you. (L.Tom Perry)
*Faith is a gift from God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness...the  
greater measure of obedience to God’s laws, the greater will be the endowment
of faith. (Bruce R.McConkie)
*Faith requires an attitude of exact obedience to God’s laws.  Not a casual or
situational obedience.  If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient.
*Obedience shows our love for God.
*When obedience ceases to be an annoyance, and becomes our quest…

at that very moment God endows us with power. (Ezra Taft Benson)

Rise up ! Rise to the great challenge which faces you   Rise up!


Our assistant presenting and highlighting 
our new leadership Manual. 


hooray! 


Next, our leadership training with 
leaders from our Guadalajara zones.








And finally, Colima, Guzman and Manzanillo leaders.







Great training!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Once again, all missionaries are safe and sound here in the Guadalajara Mission

9-19-17
3:27 pm

Dear families,

Once again, we see that there has been another earthquake here in Mexico, this time in Puebla Mexico.

I want to assure all parents, families and loved ones that all of our missionaries here in the Guadalajara Mission are safe and sound.  We did not feel any effects at all from the earthquake here in any of the areas of our mission.
We again send our love and prayers to those who have been effected by this newest earthquake today.

May our Father in Heaven bless and sustain all, through this most difficult and challenging time.

Much love,
President and Sister Clayton

Monday, September 18, 2017

Successful District and Zone Activities!!

1. We had a very special District Activity. We used the new theme of teaching the “Plan of Salvation”. Our focus was in helping all those with whom we spoke to know that there are answers to these questions of the soul which we often have and know that it is only through Jesus Christ and His Gospel that we can come to have the eternal joy that we yearn for. The activity began by contacting a person, then reading the questions of the soul and then showing them a video that displays how everything we do in this life has a purpose, and it is part of God´s plan for us. We were able to feel the Spirit while speaking with the people. We received many references and set many appointments for the coming week. Right before we began the activity it was raining for a time, but when we began the rain stopped. It was a great blessing!
Hermana VEGA & Hermana HOOPER, Élder Anderson & Élder GODINEZ, Élder CASTRO & Élder DIETRICH
Tuvimos una actividad de Distrito muy especial. Tomamos como tema a enseñar "El Plan de Salvación". Nuestro enfoque fue en ayudar a que todos aquellos con quienes hablábamos sepan que SÍ hay respuestas a esas preguntas del alma que a menudo se hacen y que sepan también que sólo mediante Jesucristo y Su evangelio es que podemos lograr la felicidad eterna que tanto anhelan. El recorrido comenzaba con un contacto, luego pasaban leyendo las preguntas del alma y luego les mostrábamos un video en el cual podían observar que todo lo que hacemos en esta vida tiene un propósito y está dentro del plan de Dios. Pudimos sentir el Espíritu al hablar con ellos. Obtuvimos muchas referencias y fijamos citas para visitarles en ésta semana. Justo antes de tener nuestra actividad estuvo lloviendo por un tiempo, pero para comenzar nuestra actividad dejó de llover. Fue una gran bendición! 






2. Great Zona Activity in Manzanillo
It was a great success, we were able to work as a team and achieve a lot.
The people we contacted as they passed by were very open to listen to our message of the restauration of the gospel as well as the message of the Book of Mormon.
We were able to contact many people with the Spirit, in this way we were able to touch the hearts of many people and have new investigators to teach.
Each one of us put in great effort and used much creativity. Many people came to take pictures and were desirous to listen to our message.
Att: Elder Torres, Elder Angulo, Elder Perez, Elder Ponce, Elder Pacheco, Elder Koenig, Elder Novak, Elder Arguello, Hermana Villagran, Hermana Loria, Hermana Marquez y Hermana Hernandez
Gran Actividad Como Zona Manzanillo 
Todo un éxito el trabajo en equipo, pudimos trabajar y lograr mucho.
Al contactar las personas se demostraron muy abiertas en escuchar el mensaje de la restauración del evangelio y también sobre el Libro de Mormón.
Pudimos contactar a muchas personas con un gran espíritu y de esa manera tocar el corazón para tener nuevos investigadores.

Cada uno de nosotros puso de su gran parte y creatividad, las personas se acercaron para tomarse fotos y estar dispuestas a escuchar el mensaje.