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, January 26, 2017

Follow Up Training.

It's been just five weeks since these fabulous missionaries landed at the Guadalajara airport!
They have learned much about being a full time missionary!

Today, we are double checking how they are doing.
*How their Twelve Week Training is coming along?
*How well are their trainers, training them?
*How well are they learning and focusing on their task?
*Are they committed and determined in this important work?

We are finding out!

With our Books of Mormon
in the four finger power hold!

President's training

*Worldwide Missionary Broadcast
*Our Focus -
We Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts
*Specifically -
We teach the Doctrine of Christ
*Changes to our daily schedule and preparation day schedule

President Clayton introducing me.
He is such a sweetheart!

My teaching:
*What have you learned about yourself
in these first few weeks?

*Have you been teachable?

*D&C 31:3 - The hour of your mission is come
*D&C 42:6 - lifting up your voices as with the 
sound of a trump.
What does that mean?

*What is your capacity?
*What is your potential?

*What are you willing to contribute?

Give yourself to this work
"You will have all the power you have faith enough to have."

Breakout session.
I talk with the trainers, and President Clayton
talks with the new missionaries to find
out specifically, how things are going.

Asking the hard questions.


Our assistants Elder Contreras and Elder Uribe
teaching and following up on things our
new missionaries should understand at this point.

PMG teaches us how to teach our message.

A quick bite of lunch.

The assistants getting ready for their game.
Dividing into 4 teams

President Clayton has taught,
“If we want new and better results, we have to do things differently.”
And that’s exactly what the assistants did!
They took the 7 Celestial Habits, and made a fun
and different game that helps us see just how important
these habits are in our teaching.

As we read in Preach My Gospel, our purpose
“is to open the doors to the celestial kingdom,”
as we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As we extend the baptismal invitation
we provide our investigators the opportunity
to act for themselves -choosing
to follow the Savior's example
and enter the waters of baptism
for themselves.

Our game uses the representation of
the Temple as the ultimate symbol,
in this life, of the Lord’s kingdom.
Each team must:
exercise their knowledge in:
1. Teaching the lessons in order
2. Helping investigators receive revelation
(through Prayer, Reading the Book of Mormon, and Church Attendance)
3. Asking for references - always
4. Evaluating and setting goals to work more effectively.

The first part of the game consists of every team,
having to collect all the pieces they will need
to build their model of the temple
as they rotate through each station.
They practice using these celestial principles
with the investigator scenario at each station,
inviting them in various ways, to act for themselves
as they continue to learn about the gospel plan.
Each team has 2 tries to collect their pieces of the Temple they must build.

The second part - they must build the temple
with the pieces they have collected.
This game helps us see how important these 7 celestial habits
really are in our efforts to fulfill our missionary purpose.
We learn that it takes a celestial way of living and working
to carry out this celestial work!
These 7 celestial habits that we have received
from the Lord through our Prophet and the Twelve Apostles,
truly are to help us fulfill our purpose.

Two fabulous Assistants!

Each team putting their Temple together.

President Clayton

Another game to help us learn and remember these key points.

7 Celestial Habits game
Think fast and name one of the 7 celestial habits
that haven't been said yet as the ball is tossed to you.
      1.  Always give the baptismal challenge
2. Teach lessons in order
(3-5) Name three ways to receive revelation
3.  Through prayer
4.  Reading the Book of Mormon
5.  Attending church
6.  Ask for referrals
7.  Evaluate and set goals

The teams each play, eliminated those who
cannot name quickly when the ball is passed to them
one of the 7 celestial habits we
must know and use, creating
the final four.

Down to four

Down to three

The final two!

And the winner is... Elder Dehesa!  
Good for him!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Another Baptism!

Baptism of Elsa
Elsa is a very special person. Shge is really golden. Elsa met the church in difficult times in her life and the gospel has worked miracles in her life.
She made the decision to be baptized and is very happy about that decision. She is now working to unite her family with her and receive more blessings.

Bautismo de Elsa
Elsa es una persona muy especial es realmente de oro, Elsa conoció la iglesia en momentos difíciles en su vida y el evangelio obró milagros en ella.
Ella tomó la decisión de aceptar el bautismo y está muy feliz por esa decisión. Ahora está trabajando para que su familia pueda unirse con ella y recibir más bendiciones.

Elder Cervantes & Elder García

Catching up with our Baptisms!

Bautismo de Maria
Sister Maria is one of the strongest girls in Puerto Vallarta. She is hardly nine years old, but has been through a lot of things. She lost her father less than a year ago, and lived in the streets for a time, and we got to know her from her grandma, who is a member. Maria learned a lot about the gospel even though she doesn’t know how to read and write, but understands the plan that God has for her and her family. We learned a lot with Maria, she taught us that the Lord has many grand and marvelous things for each of us.

La hermanita Maria es una de las niñas mas guerreras de Puerto Vallarta. Ella tiene apenas nueve años y ha pasado por muchas cosas.
Perdió su padre hace menos de un año, y llegó a vivir en las calles por un tiempo, la conocimos por medio de su abuelita que es miembro.
Maria aprendió mucho del evangelio sin la necesidad de saber leer y escribir logro entender el plan de Dios para ella y su familia. Aprendimos mucho con Maria, ella nos enseñó que el Señor tiene muchas cosas grandes y maravillosas para todos nosotros.

Elder Palenque & Elder Cangas

Jesus was a very special investigator. When we found him, we wrote that he had many doubts about the gospel, but had a great desire to become closer to God. Jesus always knew that he was going to find his answers through prayer, and when we started to teach him the lessons he began to fulfill all his commitments and he received his answers. He truly is of gold. He is now a member and is very happy for doing the will of God.
Bautismo de Jesus
Jesús fue un investigador muy especial. Cuando le conocimos notamos que él tenía muchas dudas acerca del evangelio pero tenía un deseo muy grande de acercarse a Dios. Jesus siempre supo que si tenía de iba hallar las respuestas para sus oraciones, él es de oro, en cuanto comenzamos la enseñanza él comenzó a cumplir todos sus compromisos y recibió su respuestas. Él ahora es miembro y está muy feliz de hacer la voluntad de Dios

Elder García & Elder Castillo

Bautismo de David y Teresa
Teresa did not know anything about the church, but her husband was an inactive member and thanks to him we were able to find her and their son David. David really wanted to know about the church, and both of them were really interested in being able to become closer to God. They knew right away that this was the true church that Jesus Christ established. David and Teresa were very much prepared to enter into the waters of baptism, and now they have a strong testimony.

Teresa no sabia nada acerca de la iglesia pero su esposo (Jorge) era miembro inactivo y gracias a él pudimos encontrar a Teresa y su Hijo (David). David quería mucho conocer la iglesia y ambos se
interesaron mucho por poder acercarse mas a Dios. Supieron rápidamente que esta era la iglesia verdadera la iglesia que Jesucristo estableció. David y Teresa estaban muy preparados para entrar en las aguas bautismales, tienen un gran testimonio.

Elder Gómez y Elder Padron

Bautismo de José María
Jose and Maria were investigators for a long time, and were anxious to be baptized but weren’t married. They needed to fix a few documents, and after some time and perseverance, all was fixed and they were married on the 21st of December. Two days after their wedding they were able to enter into the waters of baptism, having the Branch President here in Ameca perform the ordinance.
It was an achievement and miracle to be able to see all the things settle in place so that they could make this covenant with our Heavenly Father. They now feel very strong spiritually, and want to enter the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity. They have a desire to serve our Heavenly Father and they do it through missionary work, sharing their testimonies with friends and neighbors.

José y María por mucho tiempo fueron investigadores, estaban ansiosos
para bautizarse pero no estaban casado, necesitaban arreglar un par de documentos, después de mucho tiempo y constancia pudo arreglarse todo y se casaron el día veinte y uno de Diciembre.
Dos días después de su boda ellos pudieron entrar en las aguas bautismales y quien efectuó la ordenanza fue el Presidente de rama aquí en Ameca.
Fue un logro y un milagro poder ver como las cosas se acomodaban para que para que ellos tomaran un convenio con nuestro Padre Celestial. Ellos ahora se sienten fuertes espiritualmente y desean entrar al templo y sellarse por tiempo y eternidad ellos desean servir a nuestro Padre y lo hacen mediante la obra misional, comparten sus testimonios con amigos y vecinos.

Elder Santos y Elder Juvera

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Visiting Estipac and it's neighboring city Cocula

We visited Estipac for church today and had a chance to worship with the wonderful members there. Here we are with our two diligent missionaries Elder McDonald and Elder Santos.

Estipac is one of our 3 mission branches that is not attached to a stake or district, but part of the mission, and under President Clayton’s stewardship.  There were 22 saints in sacrament meeting, six were children, two were YSA age.  The first sister spoke on the sanctity of marriage, and the second sister referenced one of Elder Oaks talks highlighting 3 great truths, the nature of God, the purpose of life, and continuing revelation.  Seriously.  They were spot on.  And as I sat among these faithful sweethearts, the spirit bore witness to my soul once again, that our Father in Heaven knows each and every one of us.  I testify that He is blessing all people everywhere with the light and truth of the gospel.  I am confident, that their goodness and humble efforts are not only noted, they are grand and holy in His eyes. 

It is honestly still pretty difficult to describe, sitting in a small chapel deep in the heart of Mexico, a place that is hardly on a map, in a very small branch, and hearing God’s divine truths being taught, understood and lived in such humble ways.

There were 6 of us in Relief Society, as the young YSA sister (to my left)  lead the discussion of the second Gordon B. Hinckley lesson.  Their discussion of our responsibility to be a light, and a standard to others in the world was so tender.  These sisters spoke of lifting our sights, and seeking to be better, of the glorious days ahead, and of doing our part.  I just don’t know how to put into words my feelings as I sat there and listened as the translated words were spoken quietly in my ear.  They are Godly women. They are truly seeking for all that is right and good.  They are doing their part.  

This is the paragraph that they ended with.  It is the one they brainstormed together how they could most apply to their lives each day.

After church we took a drive to visit Cocula just 15 or so minutes away.  The Branch President, President Cordova and his family live there.  We fell in love with this little city.  I couldn't stop taking pictures of all the things we saw.  Here are my favorites!

ok, check this rooster out.  He was going to town 
welcoming in the new day!  

Isn't he a beauty!

Couldn't resist!

Interesting and very tidy home on the corner.

This man was so friendly, waving at every single 
person that went by.

I loved this basket shop and all the 
bird cages.

ok, I took pictures of doors and more doors.
They are all so interesting,
and so rustic.
I love them.

I loved that old bike 

I loved that the wall was build right 
up to and around that old tree.

Favorite picture of the day.
This old gal snuck out and found the
sweeter, greener grass across the 
road from where she was suppose to be.
She had her head carefully in between
the barbwire's as she reached and stretched
for the fresh green grass.

She got found out, paddled and escorted back
 to where she should have been.
Poor old dear.

Prettiest picture of the day.

Saddest picture of the day.

The meat market.

This picture made us homesick for 
our old Kodiak.

What a memorable day in Estipac and in Cocula.