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.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just a quick reminder to families 12-7-17

Dear families,

We appreciate your love and support!  We really do. Thank you, thank you for your prayers and faith in this marvelous work. This is a labor for your missionaries that is difficult, and challenging day in, and day out.   I can testify, that your missionaries are earnestly preparing themselves each day to represent our Savior as best they can.

Your missionaries are praying in faith for the spirit of the Lord to accompany them in this work.
They are seeking the Lord's spirit to be with them personally, and in their companionship's, as they contact and greet those they meet each day; and especially as they teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their desire is that they might be sensitive to, and respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, enabling them to teach mightily and with more power.  I am confident that your missionaries are giving their very best efforts.

We are grateful for every encouraging word you give to your missionary. We appreciate your letters of faith, of love and of testimony.  We are grateful for letters that do not distract your missionary from this important work.  Your missionaries are strengthened by the uplifting and motivating letters of love they receive from home.

Your emails of confidence and support can brighten a difficult day, they can encourage your missionary to stay the course, to grit through and overcome their challenges and to seek the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true source of comfort and peace.

Missionaries in this mission do not have permission to use online chat methods of communicating with family and friends.  Any device or technology that offers real time communication is not approved.  Nor do we desire our missionaries to make an arrangement with family and/or friends to be on the computer at the 'same time' so that emails can be written back and forth simultaneously... or within minutes, allowing them to answer questions immediately and visit back and forth over email, during our missionary's set time to write letters.   These methods of communicating with family and loved ones are very distracting, and are over reaching the purpose of weekly letter writing.

We are encouraging our missionaries to go to their internet site each preparation day, to read letters from family, friends and loved ones there in their inbox, and then, to write their one letter back to their family, and perhaps a group letter for others,  highlighting their experiences, sharing their testimony and unfolding the miracles they have participated in and witnessed.
May we please remind all, that our missionaries have a limited time on the computer each week.  It is their time to communicate with their mission president and their family and loved ones.

Missionaries are strengthened by families, friends and loved ones who send letters and emails that are filled with personal and family missionary experiences past and present.  Letters that share testimonies, and insights from personal scripture study are appreciated.  All missionaries love to hear family updates, but please keep them concise and positive.  Please do not unduly worry your missionary with things that will cause them to fret and feel stressed.  

Please, share the good things that are happening at home!  Especially share the gospel centered things you are involved in.  More than anything else, be sure and convey your love and encouragement. Thank them for their service, and express how proud you are of them.

I testify that we are each involved in the greatest work of the face of the earth.  The Lord Jesus Christ is truly hastening His work.  We are privileged to be rolling up our sleeves, and giving our absolute all, in this part of the Lord's vineyard here in Guadalajara Mexico.
When you help to strengthen your missionary, you are strengthening and moving forward our Savior's important work.

Thank you for your love and support!

With love,

President and Sister Clayton

A gentle reminder 12-7-17

Media use here in the mission

Dear missionaries and families:

I thought I would put a gentle reminder on the mission blog to all missionaries and families defining our mission policy concerning technology. Our guidelines are very clear.
We appreciate your support.

*We know that a good number of our missionaries have brought or have acquired a personal device for use here in the mission.

*We are not recommending or encouraging the use or purchase of any device for use here in the mission.
*This mission has not been approved to use technology.  Missionaries may however, have and use their own personal devices with the following guidelines:

1. Missionaries are allowed to have and use iPod devices, and listen to uplifting and inspirational music.  Music that edifies and draws us closer to our Heavenly Father is our goal.  Missionaries may not have or use ear buds of any kind without specific approval from President Clayton.

* A missionary acquiring a new ipod device here in the mission may borrow a companion, or fellow missionary's USB cord to add music to their new device.  Downloading music here in the mission is not approved.

2. All devices such as tablets, iPads, iPhones and iPods may be used to take pictures, to access the lds gospel library, lds music, lds tools, the mormon channel, and google maps; as well as to use the calendar, the calculator, the clock, and to take notes.

*Note - We have approved downloading the Dictionary, the Spanish Translator and the Uber app. (These three apps may be downloaded and used here in the mission.)

Missionaries have  permission to update the google maps and Uber app, when needed on pdays through wifi. Missionaries can access Uber daily as needed.


*All missionaries must email their families and President Clayton each Pday at an approved internet location.

*Missionaries do have permission to go to, and our Guadalajara mission blog on pdays.

*We allow missionaries to attach or save pictures from an email from home, for example, to a jump drive or something similar.  They are not allowed to download anything directly to their device through wifi.

*It will take great discipline for you NOT to access WiFi with your device, at the church building or in members or investigators homes, or other places where you find there is accessible internet.

*Google chat, Facebook, any social media site, opening any link, or adding unapproved apps will cause you to lose your device.

*Any report or finding of misuse will cause the missionary to lose his/her device immediately.  There are no second chances.

4. We have received approval from the Area Presidency, to encourage those we teach to download the lds gospel library onto their own device as a significant resource and wonderful blessing.

*Missionaries may NOT use their own device to demonstrate that, but can guide and encourage the investigator or member as they download it for themselves.

5. Missionaries must be careful with their device, as if it is broken, stolen or lost, it cannot be reimbursed or replaced.

*We also caution missionaries against taking an excess number of pictures or lingering looking through their pictures, allowing them to become a distraction.

As is always the case, these devices can be a blessing to us.  Do not allow them to become a preoccupation or hindrance to you and your important work.

With love,

President and Sister Clayton

December Leadership Council 12-6-17

What a fabulous day we have had!! We met with our Zone, District, and Sister Training Leaders.  Such outstanding leaders all!
Here are some highlights of our (long) day together.

We always start with a picture on the steps of the beautiful Guadalajara Temple.

With... our most important tool!
The Book of Mormon in our hands!!

Getting started

President Clayton's teaching.
*As the Zone Leaders go...
so goes the zone!

President Clayton's object lesson.

*Effective leaders do not lead from behind.
They lead out.. in front! (Alma 2:16)

*Discussion and example -
The Prophet Joseph Smith and
Zion's Camp 

Righteous Leaders ~
*remind others of their faith and courage
*Believe and do- expecting miracles
*Motivate themselves to act to motivate others.

*How do we do that?
*We should never fear to do good.
*Can we hear the music?
*Unity in our companionships
*Light the way

From behind or in front?

a picnic lunch with tacos

My teaching -
Understanding the purpose of our
trials and challenges.
The account of the brother of Jared and their travels to the promised land in barges they built, following the instructions of the Lord.

*How they would breathe?
*How would they have light?
*And, how would they steer these unique barges ?

It is a story of great and unprecedented faith.
This small group of ancient saints suffered much, their challenges certainly were many.  They endured and called upon the Lord earnestly, as He, Himself, steered them towards the Promised land…   
How did He steer them?

He caused furious winds to blow them, and great and terrible tempests, with mountainous waves which buried and broke upon them....pushing and pulling them through the deep and terrifying ocean for 344 days.

It was through undoubtedly countless challenges that they endured, that finally led them to the promised land.  The winds and the waves were to them... their trials and challenges.

What can we learn from those who have gone before?

Without those furious winds and mountainous waves continually pushing them, the Jaredites would have never reached the promised land!

We are told in Ether 4:9 that they sang praises and did thank the Lord all the day long, and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.  

*Relying on the Lord in all things
*If we stay in the barge...And allow the Lord to steer us.... Where will we arrive?

Quotes to Ponder~

* “I believe with all my heart that because God loves us, there are some particularized challenges that he will deliver to each of us.  He will customize the curriculum for each of us in order to teach us the things we most need to know.  He will set before us in life what we need, not always what we like.  And this will require us to accept with all our hearts… the truth that there is divine design in each of our lives.”
Neal A Maxwell

*  “Life is a storm sometimes. Sometimes in life we just try to outlast the storm, forgetting to call upon the one who can calm it.  Peace may not come as perfect calm as it did on the sea of Galilee. Instead when we hasten to call upon the master and allow Him to bear our burdens – our peace may come in small reminders of His love and care, giving us strength to get through the storm.  Our private storms may not be as tempestuous as the storms others face, BUT IT IS NOT THE VELOCITY OF THE STORM THAT MAKES OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILLING TO HELP US, it is our hastening to call for His help that allows Him to calm our hearts during life’s storms”.

* “It was meant to be that life would be a challenge.  Stand steady and face your challenges! There is great purpose in our struggles”.  Boyd K. Packer

* “I am thankful for my struggle, because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”

President Clayton's Game!
5 teams, with the sisters being 
careful judges...

We are a team!
We work as a team
Everybody comes... 
Everybody helps...
We don't leave anybody behind..
Everybody matters...
We must help each other!
Every member of the team is needed
and valued...

Assistants Teaching
They once again highlighted the 
leadership training manual.

What a wonderfully motivated group today.

President Clayton's closing 

Let's take just one more look at these fabulous missionaries..

#we love our missionaries

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Lomas Stake Conference 12-3-17

Wonderful Lomas Stake Conference this morning.
Here we are with the Lomas Zone who serve in this stake!

With Stake President and Sister Olguin on the far left.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Zone and District Activities!

We came together as the Puerta Vallarta Zone to contact people using whiteboards that had questions of the soul. They were a great help to cause others to reflect. We also did several musical presentations using church hymns. The zone has had many new investigators thanks to this activity. It was a wonderful day of missionary work.  
Nos unimos como Zona Puerto Vallarta para contactar a personas haciendo uso de "whiteboards" que incluían preguntas del alma y fueron de gran ayuda para hacer reflexionar a las personas. También hicimos algunas presentaciones musicales con himnos de la iglesia. La zona ha tenido muchos nuevos investigadores gracias a esta actividad. Fue un magnífico día de trabajo. 

Actividad de Zona en Manzanillo
Why not go for our own? We visited the less active and inactive members. This helped to strengthen the Branch and to increase their testimonies. We, together with the leaders worked hard and invited many to return to church. We hope for good results and great miracles from the Lord.  
¿Por qué no ir por los nuestros? Visitamos a los miembros menos activos e inactivos, eso ayudo a la rama a fortalecerse y aumentar sus testimonios. Nosotros junto con los líderes trabajamos mucho y les invitamos a regresar a la iglesia. Esperamos buenos resultados y grandes milagros del Señor.  

In Santiago we updated the ward directory lists and handed out tickets in the morning. In the afternoon we invited everyone to go to Hawaii with us. When the plane crashed and everyone died, we took advantage of the opportunity and showed everyone a representation of the Plan of Salvation.  
En Santiago igual depuramos las listas y repartimos boletos en la mañana. Y en la tarde invitamos a todos a ir a Hawaii con nosotros. Cuando el avión se cayó y todos se murieron, pudimos aprovechar la situación y enseñar a todos una representación de el Plan de Salvación.
In Tecuala we had an activity themed, “Lehi´s Dream.” In the morning all of the missionaries and members when to visit less actives and to update the ward directory lists if the families didn’t live there. In the morning we passed out invitations and in the afternoon we enjoyed learning from Lehi’s dream and how to overcome things that sometimes distract us from the things of God.  
En Tecuala hicimos una actividad del sueño de Lehi. En la mañana todos los misioneros y miembros fueron a visitar a las menos activos y a depurar las listas si las familias ya no vivían allí, en la mañana pudimos repartir invitaciones, y en la tarde pudimos disfrutar mientras aprendimos del sueño de Lehi y como vencer las cosas que a veces nos distraen de las cosas de Dios.

We had our zone activity in the Magistarial ward, where the members were able to learn about their importance in missionary work, the importance of listening to the spirit, and even how to contact people. Every one of them is anxious to work with the missionaries in the zone and to preach the gospel.  
Tuvimos nuestra actividad de zona Colima en el barrio de Magisterial donde los miembros pudieron aprender de desde la importancia de los miembros en la obra misional, la importancia de escuchar al Espíritu Santo y hasta contactar a las personas. Todos ellos están ansiosos de poder trabajar con los misioneros de la zona y de predicar el evangelio.

Catching up with baptisms!!

We send our warmest welcome to each of these newly baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Baptism of Alan Ochoa. After months of listening to the missionaries this weekend he entered the waters of baptism. Now, together with his family, he is preparing to enter the temple.  
Elder Espinosa, Elder Jimenez  

Bautismo de Alan Ochoa. Después de meses escuchando a los misioneros este fin de semana bajo a las aguas bautismales. Ahora junto con su familia se preparará para entrar al templo.
Rafael and Monica. These two are truly amazing! They made some serious changes in their life and found their testimonies of this church! They were married the 28th of October and were soon baptized after the 31st! They have truly seen the blessings of this gospel in their lives and are ready to continue living the gospel and receiving the promised blessings of our Heavenly Father. 
Elder Chamberlain, Elder Powell
Hermano Rafael y Hermana Monica. ¡Ellos son maravillosos! Les hicieron grandes cambios en sus vidas y encontraron sus testimonios de la iglesia. ¡Fueron casados el 28 de octubre y fueron bautizados en el 31! Ellos verdaderamente han visto las bendiciones del evangelio en sus vidas y están listos a continuar viviendo el evangelio al recibir las bendiciones prometidos de nuestro Padre Celestial.  
Brother Hector was a reference from his friend. From there we testified to him of the restoration and he knew that it is true. He kept all of his commitments with devotion and love for God. He tasted, as Lehi, that the fruit of the gospel is greater than anything he had tried before, and now he is striving so that his family can also partake of this fruit.  
Elder De La Rosa, Elder Gutierréz  
El hermano Hector fue una referencia de su amiga, desde que le testificamos de la restauración él supo que es verdadera, y cumplió con todos sus compromisos con devoción y amor a Dios, él probó, así como Lehi, que el fruto del evangelio es superior a cuanto él había probado antes, y ahora él se está esforzando porque su familia también sea partícipe de ese fruto.
Pablo is a young man who, from the example of the Solís family, came to know the gospel. Thanks to his little brother and the ward members he found that this is his home and he is prepared to be faithful in the gospel. Thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ, he has overcome his addictions and has a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon through his diligent reading and prayer.  
Hermana Andrade, Hermana Villanueva
Bautismo de Pablo es un joven que por medio del ejemplo de la familia Solís él pudo conocer el evangelio y gracias al hermanamiento de los miembros él pudo identificar que este es su hogar, asiste a la iglesia y él está dispuesto a ser fiel en el evangelio, gracias el evangelio de Jesucristo él ha dejado sus adicciones y él tiene un testimonio firme de la veracidad del libro de Mormón, gracias a que él lo ha leído y ha orado diligentemente.
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Belén was baptized to follow the example of Jesus Christ. She was also able to set an example for her two young children. After her baptism her son said that he wanted to be part of the Mormon Club. Belén is certain that she is a daughter of God and that her family can be eternal. She has made many changes in her life in order to be baptized.
Hermana Urbina, Hermana Velasquez
Belén se bautizó para seguir el ejemple de Jesucristo. Belén también pudo poner el ejemple para sus 2 hijos pequeños. Después de su bautismo su hijo dijo que quiere ser parte del club de los mormones. Belén tiene la certeza que es una hija de Dios y que su familia puede ser eterna. Ella ha hecho muchos cambios para lograr su bautismo.
Baptism of the Zepeda couple. All of their lives they were catholic, nevertheless they have shown exceptional faith by applying the principle of revelation which they learned regardless of the daily and work activities of Irma Zepeda and the loss of sight of Ángel Zepeda. They had many questions throughout their being taught, but this is what brought them to receive a confirmation that this is true.   
Elder Espinosa, Elder Jimenez  
Bautismo del matrimonio Zepeda. Todas su vida fueron católicos sin embargo han mostrado una fe excepcional al aplicar los principios de revelación que aprendieron sin importar las actividades cotidianas y laborales de Irma Zepeda y la perdida de la vista de Ángel Zepeda. Tuvieron muchas preguntas a lo largo de la enseñanza pero eso fue lo que les llevo a encontrar la confirmación de que esto es verdad. 
Miranda is a very special child. Her mother is a recent convert and Miranda knows the lessons by memory. She only hadn’t yet decided to be baptized. After talking with her, she made this important decision for her life. Now she has the Holy Ghost and she as well as her mom are very happy to have had this opportunity to come to know the gospel!  
Elder Koenig, Elder Castillo 
Miranda es una niña muy especial. Su mamá es recién conversa y ella sabe de memoria las lecciones. Solo que no había tomado la decisión de bautizarse. Depuse de hablar con ella, ella tomo esta importante decisión para su vida. ¡Ahora recibió el espíritu santo y ella y su mama son muy felices por tener esta oportunidad de haber conocido el evangelio! 
Nephi was born to goodly parents, but less actives. He is always very happy in the lessons and learned faster than the others. Now he is a great example for his older brothers and a motivation for his parents to keep going to church to keep progressing and one day go to the temple to be an eternal family. Despite the difficulties that arose, he continued with his decision and even invited his teacher to his baptism. He is a very good kid.  
Elder Pérez, Elder Drumright
Nefi nació de buenos padres pero menos activos, siempre muy feliz en las lecciones aprendiendo mas rápido que los demás, ahora es un gran ejemplo para sus hermanos mayores y una motivación para sus padres de poder seguir yendo a la capilla para seguir progresando y algún día ir al Templo y ser una familia eterna, a pesar de las dificultades que se presentaron el siguió con su decisión incluso invito a su maestra al bautismo, un bueno niño.

Brother Edwin Hernandez Herrera is known as “The Aris.” He is a soccer player for the Chivas and a golden person. After his baptism he baptized his young son. He is happy and is ready to begin his new life in Christ. Now he is happy to be able to hope for a new experience with his family in spite of his work.  
Elder Cangas, Elder Martindale  
Él es el hermano Edwin Hernández Herrera "el Aris" , jugador de las chivas  una persona de oro, después de su bautismo el bautizo también a su hijo pequeño, él está feliz y él está dispuesto a comenzar de nuevo su vida en Cristo, él ahora está feliz de poder empezar esta nueva experiencia con su familia a pesar de su trabajo.
This past Saturday was the baptism of Noe Noriega. He is a young man from a part member family and had a lot of time listening to the gospel. However, he did not feel ready to be baptized. He has a strong testimony of the restored gospel -especially that families can be forever- he desires to return to his grandma after this life. He is a young man who has strong faith in God and knows what he needs to do to return to the presence of God. He knows that what’s most important is to be ready to follow the narrow path in this life holding fast to the iron rod.  
Hermana Terrón & Hermana Rosado  
El sábado fue el bautismo de Noe Noriega, él es un joven PF que llevaba mucho tiempo escuchando del evangelio sin embargo él no sentía esa preparación para ser bautizado, él tenía un testimonio fuerte de este evangelio restaurado en especial de que las familias pueden ser eternas ya que él desea volver a su abuelo después de esta vida. Es un joven que tiene una Fe fuerte en Dios y que sabe que hay que hacer para regresar a la presencia de Dios y lo que es más importante es que él está dispuesto a seguir el camino angosto de esta vida sostenidos fuerte de la barra de hierro. 
Ada has a year knowing the church. A lot of time passed, and she didn’t have answers to her concerns. She obtained a testimony and is striving to share the gospel with her friends. She wants to attend the temple and make covenants with the Lord, just as she wants her son to serve a mission. Ada has a strong testimony of the gospel and is very happy to be progressing in the gospel and changing her life to be closer to God.  

Hermana Benavidez, Hermana Loria   
Ada tiene un año conociendo la iglesia. Ha pasado mucho tiempo y no tenía la respuesta de sus dudas. Ha logrado tener un testimonio y se está esforzando por compartir el evangelio con sus amigos. Quiere asistir a templo y hacer convenios con el Señor, igual quiere que su hijo sirva una misión. Ada tiene un fuerte testimonio del evangelio y es muy feliz para ser progresando y cambiando su vida para ser más cerca de Dios.

Aldo is a very good kid. His family are members and he began to have interest when his cousins were baptized. He began to read the Book of Mormon and attend church every Sunday with his family. He received a testimony of the church and wants to follow the example of his cousins and serve a mission in the future.  
Elder Garcia, Elder Stubbs  
Aldo es un joven muy bueno. El tiene familia quien son miembros y el empezó a tener interés cuando sus primos fueron bautizados. El empezó a leer el Libro de Mormón y a asistir a la iglesia cada domingo con su familia. El recibió un testimonio de la iglesia y quiere seguir el ejemplo de sus primos y servir una misión en el futuro. 

Carlos has known the church since his wife began to listen to the sister missionaries. He had the desire to be baptized, but work and family situations kept him from receiving the lessons. Then came the time when the Lord prepared his heart and he committed to arrive on time to the appointments. As he was progressing and attending church he was able to feel the spirit more. His family’s example helped him to decide to make the same change and have an eternal family.  
Hermana Benvidas, Hermana Loria
Carlos tiene conoció la iglesia desde que su esposa empezó a escuchar a las misioneras. Él tenía el deseo de bautizarse, pero el trabajo y situaciones familiares le impedía recibir las lecciones. Llego el tiempo en que el señor preparo su corazón y su fe se comprometió en llegar a tiempo a las citas. A medida de ello él fue progresando y asistiendo a la iglesia el pudio sentir más el espíritu, el ejemplo de su familia le ayudo a tomar la decisión de llevar el mismo cambio y poder lograr ser una familia eterna.

The baptism of Cirila and Venus was a super special experience. Since the beginning they had desires to come unto Christ and to learn. It was a miracle to find people so elect such as them. We know that they were taught by the spirit and were truly prepared.  
Elder Dehesa, Elder Long
Los bautismos de la hermana Cirila y la hermana Venus fue una experiencia super especial. Ellos desde el principio tuvieron deseos de venir a Cristo y aprender. Era un milagro encontrar personas tan elegidas como ellas. Sabemos que fueron enseñados por el Espíritu y que eran realmente preparadas.

Imelda was a reference from the branch president and is an example of true conversion. When we first met her, she didn’t want to listen to our message but later she asked, and then found the tranquility that she needed in her life. Imelda is very happy to be able to serve her Heavenly Father. She is the only member in her family, and is now preparing to go to the temple.  
Hermana Torres, Hermana Hernandez
Ella fue referencia de el presidente de la rama, hermana Imelda es un ejemplo de conversión, al conocerla ella no deseaba escuchar el mensaje pero luego ella pregunto y encontró la tranquilidad que necesitaba para su vida, ella esta muy feliz por poder servir al Padre Celestial, ella es la única miembro de su familia, ahora se esta preparando para poder ir al templo.